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Bus driver who takes people from Changi Airport to stay-home notice facilities tests positive for COVID-19

Bus driver who takes people from Changi Airport to stay-home notice facilities tests positive for COVID-19

Airport staff members are seen in personal protective equipment and protective face masks at Changi Airport Terminal 1. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: A bus driver who takes people from Changi Airport to dedicated facilities for their stay-home notice has tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Feb 8).

The 49-year-old Singaporean is employed by Cobb and Coach Services and his job includes transporting people from the airport to dedicated facilities for their isolation period.

He is among the two community COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Monday.

He developed a runny nose on Jan 31 but did not seek medical attention, MOH said. The infection was detected after he was tested on Feb 5 as part of rostered routine testing, and his pooled test result came back positive on Feb 6.

An individual test was done that night at Tan Tock Seng hospital, and came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day.

He was taken by ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on Jan 23 – were negative for COVID-19. His serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection, said MOH.

The Health Ministry said his bus is disinfected after every trip.

READ: 2 community infections among 22 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

READ: Firm to step up measures after COVID-19 case involving employee who works at Changi Airport


The other community case reported on Monday was a 30-year-old Indian national who is a work pass holder and works as an engineer at Station Satcom. As part of his job, he boards ships to install communications and IT equipment, said MOH.

He was earlier identified as a close contact of a previous case - a sea crew member who arrived from Japan aboard a vessel and confirmed to have COVID-19 on Jan 11 - and placed in quarantine from Jan 13 to Jan 24. 

His swabs taken during quarantine on Jan 13 and Jan 21 were negative for COVID-19, said MOH. Subsequent tests taken as part of rostered routine testing - the last on Jan 29 - were also negative for the coronavirus.

He received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 27.

On Feb 4, he developed fatigue and had a fever the next day, but did not seek medical attention, said the Health Ministry.

He was tested for COVID-19 on Feb 5 as part of rostered routine testing, and his result came back positive the next day. He was also taken to NCID.

"While his serological test taken on Feb 7 has come back positive, this is assessed to be a recent infection as he is symptomatic, and the Ct value for his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was low," said MOH.

READ: Punggol Plaza, FairPrice at Kallang Wave Mall among places visited by COVID-19 community cases while infectious

READ: What we know so far about COVID-19 reinfection 

The Health Ministry said the vaccine that the man took on Jan 27 accounts for his positive serology test as he has likely started producing antibodies following the jab.

"As the vaccine does not contain live virus, he could not have been infected due to vaccination. It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination," said the Health Ministry.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing. All identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period

"We will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the cases could have been infected by them," said MOH.

Singapore reported 22 COVID-19 cases in total on Monday, bringing the national tally to 59,721 cases.

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Source: CNA/mi


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