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5 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, with first community infection in more than 2 weeks

5 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, with first community infection in more than 2 weeks

People wearing face masks at Paya Lebar Quarter on Sep 15, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore on Thursday (Nov 26) reported its first community COVID-19 case in more than two weeks, a 32-year-old citizen whose infection is currently unlinked.

It was among five new cases as of noon on Thursday, four of which were imported, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

The community case works as a service engineer at Master Systems Marine. His job involves going on board vessels docked at Marina South Pier and West Coast Pier for servicing and maintenance of ships’ navigational systems.

"He typically worked alone and had no interaction with vessel crew except for a supervising crew member," said MOH.

On days he was not working on board vessels, he remained at his office at Vertex Building Tower B at 33 Ubi Avenue 3. 

"He reported that he wore a surgical mask during his work on board the vessels and at the office, and that safe distancing and safe management measures were adhered to," said MOH.

READ: New community COVID-19 case had dinner with 12 family members at Seoul Garden, investigations under way

TIMELINE OF COMMUNITY CASE

The man developed a fever and sore throat on the night of Nov 23 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day, where he was tested for COVID-19.

He was then taken by ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases the following day when his test came back positive, said MOH.

"His serological test has come back negative, indicating that this is a fresh infection," said the health ministry.

MOH said that the man had dinner with 12 family members at Seoul Garden at Tampines Mall on Nov 21.

"They had occupied three tables and there was mingling between the groups," said the ministry. 

Among those at the dinner was his two-year-old niece, who had been issued a medical certificate from Nov 20 to Nov 24 for runny nose. She has since tested negative for COVID-19.

"Investigations are ongoing to assess if there had been any breach of the relevant safe management measures," said MOH.

All his identified close contacts have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period.

"We will also conduct serological tests on his household and family contacts to determine if he could have been infected by them," said the ministry.

IMPORTED CASES

Among the four imported cases, one is a work permit holder who arrived from Malaysia and another is a work pass holder who came from Nepal.

The other two are dependant's pass holders - girls aged five and eight - who arrived from Pakistan. They are contacts of previous COVID-19 cases.

All the new imported cases were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.

Singapore's tally of COVID-19 cases stands at 58,195 as of Thursday, with fatalities remaining at 28.

Thirteen more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total recoveries to 58,104.

There are 43 cases who are still in hospital. Most are stable or improving, with one in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. Another 20 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities. 




READ: Singapore needs to manage risks, not eliminate them, in reopening for travel: Chan Chun Sing

EXPANDED COMMUNITY TESTING

Earlier on Thursday, MOH said COVID-19 tests will be offered to workers at key delivery centres such as Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre and key logistics delivery companies in the coming weeks.

This is part of efforts to extend testing to more community groups. 

Authorities have been progressively conducting testing for identified community groups, such as stallholders, food delivery personnel and cashiers across Singapore.

"These operations aim to provide a better picture of population prevalence and facilitate the early containment of cryptic cases in the community, especially as we continue to reopen our economy and allow more activities to resume," said MOH.

READ: COVID-19 tests to be offered to workers at key delivery centres, logistics delivery firms: MOH

The ministry also announced that from 11.59pm on Saturday, travellers who have a travel history in the past 14 days to Finland and Turkey will have to serve their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.

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Source: CNA/dv

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