3 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; 5 more discharged, including Chinese national who was first confirmed patient
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported three more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday (Feb 19), said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a daily update, including two patients who are linked to existing church clusters.
This brings the number of cases in Singapore to 84, with four in critical condition.
Five more patients were discharged from hospital on Wednesday, meaning 34 have now fully recovered from the virus.
Singapore's first confirmed case - a 66-year-old man from Wuhan - was among those discharged on Wednesday, almost one month after testing positive for the virus on Jan 23.
Of the three confirmed cases on Wednesday, one is linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore and one is linked to Grace Assembly of God.
Explore our interactive: All the COVID-19 cases in Singapore and the clusters and links between them
Contact tracing of the remaining case is under way to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to China.
Further epidemiological investigations and contact tracing have uncovered links between previously announced and new cases.
This was made possible with the assistance of the Singapore Police Force, said MOH.
As of 12pm Wednesday, the ministry has identified a total of 2,593 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of those, 1,172 are currently quarantined, and 1,421 have completed their quarantine.
LATEST CONFIRMED CASES
Case 82 is a 57-year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to China. She is currently warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH).
She reported onset of symptoms on Feb 9 and had sought treatment at Jurong Polyclinic on Feb 10 and on Feb 14. She also visited a general practitioner (GP) clinic on Feb 12.
She went to the emergency department at NTFGH on Feb 13 and Feb 15, and was admitted as a dengue patient in a general ward on Feb 15.
Results confirmed she had COVID-19 on the afternoon of Feb 18, and she was immediately transferred to an isolation room.
As a precautionary measure, the patients who had shared the same room as the case while she was in the general ward have been transferred to single rooms.
They have been tested for COVID-19 infection, and the results are pending. So far, none of the contacts have any respiratory symptoms.
Contact tracing of NTFGH staff who had been in contact with the case is underway. The room has also been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Prior to hospital admission, the patient had mostly stayed at her home at Jurong West Street 41, except to seek medical treatment.
Case 83 is a 54 year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China, but who travels frequently to Malaysia for work purposes.
He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Feb 19 morning, and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
He is linked to the The Life Church and Missions Singapore.
Case 84 is a 35 year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to China.
She was confirmed positive on Feb 19 morning, and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
She is linked to Case 66, a 28-year-old man who works at Grace Assembly of God.
VJC TEACHER AMONG THOSE DISCHARGED
The man's release comes just shy of a month after he first tested positive for the coronavirus on Jan 23.
The other people discharged were a Certis Cisco officer (Case 44) who served quarantine orders on two people from Wuhan, a 30-year-old Singaporean man (Case 55) and a 39-year-old Singaporean woman (Case 33).
NEW LINKS FOUND BETWEEN PREVIOUS CASES
New links have also been uncovered between previously announced and new cases, said MOH.
Four of the locally transmitted confirmed cases (Cases 31, 33, 38 and 83), as well as Cases 8 and 9, are linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore (146B Paya Lebar Road).
Nine of the confirmed cases (Cases 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34 and 40) are linked to Yong Thai Hang (24 Cavan Road).
Three of the confirmed cases (Cases 30, 36 and 39) are linked to the private business meeting held at Grand Hyatt Singapore from Jan 20 to 22.
Five of the confirmed cases (Cases 42, 47, 52, 56 and 69) are linked to the Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site.
Of the confirmed cases, a total of 22 (Cases 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 78, 80, 81 and 84) are linked to Grace Assembly of God.
Case 80 works as an administrative staff at the National University Hospital (NUH).
In response to queries by CNA, a spokesperson from NUH said the patient was warded in an isolation room at the hospital.
"She had promptly sought medical treatment since the onset of symptoms, and informed her supervisor upon learning of the contact with a confirmed case," the spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"As the staff member had been away for the duration of her sick leave, this had limited her contact with the rest of the colleagues while she had been symptomatic."
Identified contacts of the department she was working in have been notified and were advised to monitor their health.
"Employees displaying any symptoms have been seen by our doctors at our clinic," the spokesperson said, adding that precautionary measures like disinfecting the toilets and common staff areas were also taken.
"We are working with the MOH to monitor the situation."
Investigations on these clusters are ongoing. In addition to the clusters, MOH's investigations have identified the following links between cases:
- Case 44 is linked to Cases 13 and 26;
- Case 72 is linked to Cases 59 and 79;
- Case 50 is linked to 55, 65 and 77; and
- Case 75 is linked to Case 41
Contact tracing is underway for the other eight locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China.
Earlier on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was "very impressed" with Singapore's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Singapore is leaving no stone unturned, testing every case of influenza-like illness and pneumonia ... So far they have not found evidence of community transmission," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
"We are very impressed with the efforts they are making to find every case, follow up with contacts and stop transmission," he added.
Singapore on Feb 7 raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) to Orange, prompting additional precautionary measures.
COVID-19 has killed more than 2,000 and infected more than 74,000, mostly in mainland China. It has spread to more than 25 countries, including Singapore, Japan and Thailand.