SINGAPORE: A patient who was infected with the novel coronavirus has recovered and was discharged from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Feb 4).
The patient, a 35-year-old man from Wuhan who was Singapore's seventh confirmed case, has been "comprehensively tested negative" for the virus, the ministry added.
"We discharged one patient today ... all his symptoms had fully resolved and he's had consecutive tests over three days where the tests were all negative," MOH's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said at a press conference.
"We are quite confident that, in fact, he has no longer got any infection there."
The man had tested positive for the coronavirus on Jan 27. He had arrived in Singapore on Jan 23 and went to Raffles Hospital after he developed symptoms on Jan 24. He was then transferred to NCID by private ambulance.
Doctors are continuing to watch the infected patients closely, Assoc Prof Mak said, adding that another patient is being prepared for the "possibility of discharge over the next few days".
"We cannot commit just yet, because it is a decision that the doctors (will have to) make as they review the patient on a day-to-day basis. And therefore it would be premature for me to say that he would definitely be discharged," he said.
There are a "number of patients" who are well, Assoc Prof Mak said, noting that at least three patients have no symptoms.
Five of the patients have been given "some oxygen" to support their breathing, he said, adding that this is "not surprising in view of the fact that they had pneumonia".
"This is basically to support them," he said. "None of them are in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), none of them are critically ill at this point in time."
Four people with no recent travel history to China have tested positive for the coronavirus, MOH said. The other two cases are Singapore residents who had been evacuated from Wuhan on Jan 30.
Contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing. As of noon on Tuesday, MOH has identified 311 close contacts. Of the 239 who are still in Singapore, 234 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated.
"Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining five close contacts," the ministry added.
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Singapore on Saturday widened travel restrictions to stop all new visitors of any nationality with recent travel history to mainland China from entering Singapore. These visitors are also not allowed to transit in Singapore.