SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 as of noon on Friday (Jan 1). These include three community cases, with two linked to clusters involving workers in the marine sector.
One of them is a 14-year-old Raffles Girls’ School student, the second person from the school to test positive for COVID-19.
The new infection, known as Case 58870, is a friend of the first case who tested positive on Dec 31, a day after her family member – the marine surveyor at Lloyd’s Register Singapore – tested positive.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), Case 58870 had visited her friend at her home for a few hours on Dec 27. During that time, the marine surveyor was present.
Case 58870 was identified as a close contact on Dec 29 and quarantined. She developed a fever the next day and was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she was tested for COVID-19.
Her infection was confirmed on Dec 31. The serological test result is negative, indicating that it is likely a current infection.
Case 58870 has not been in school since October 2020.
The cluster involving the marine surveyor now has four cases.
COVID-19 CASE DID NOT TAKE TEST INITIALLY
Another community case is a family member of the PSA Marine harbour pilot whose infection was reported on Dec 31, said MOH.
This takes the family cluster to four cases after the harbour pilot and two of his relatives tested positive for COVID-19.
The new case in the cluster, a 52-year-old Singaporean woman, had developed symptoms on Dec 28 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day.
The doctor advised her to take a COVID-19 test but she did not do so. She was also given five days’ medical leave, during which she had to remain at home.
After she was identified as a household member of two cases in the cluster – a 79-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man who live at Marine Crescent – she was quarantined on Dec 31 and reported being unwell when contacted by MOH.
She was immediately taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) where she was swabbed, producing a positive test on the same day.
Her serological test result is negative.
The 52-year-old woman works as a client analyst at Deutsche Bank at One Raffles Quay but does not interact with clients or external parties, said MOH, adding that her last day of work was on Dec 28.
“We urge everyone to take the COVID-19 test when advised by your doctor, so as to allow us to identify infected individuals early and to quickly contain further spread,” said MOH.
JAPANESE WORK PASS HOLDER
The third community case is a 53-year-old Japanese work pass holder who twice tested negative for COVID-19 – once before he arrived in Singapore and another during his stay-home notice.
In its press release, MOH said the man arrived in Singapore from Japan on Nov 26 and was placed on stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 10.
A pre-departure test he had taken on Nov 24 was negative for COVID-19 infection, and his test on Dec 6 during stay-home notice came back negative as well.
He was asymptomatic and the infection was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Dec 31 in preparation for his return to Japan. The result came back positive that night and he was taken to NCID the next day.
His serological test result is positive. The case is currently unlinked.
The man is employed at Kurosawa & Partners located at 18 Robinson Road but works from his home at Rochor Road.
Epidemiological investigations are ongoing.
All identified close contacts of the above cases, including family members, have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period, said MOH.
“We will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the case could have been infected by them,” the ministry added.
The remaining 27 new cases were imported. All were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore.
Five are Singaporeans and permanent residents who returned from Indonesia, India and Myanmar.
Five imported cases are work pass holders who arrived from the UAE and India.
Sixteen imported cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia, India, Myanmar and the Philippines, of whom 14 are foreign domestic workers.
The remaining imported case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Indonesia to visit his Singaporean child.
Ten more cases of COVID-19 have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, taking the total recoveries to 58,459.
There are 56 cases who are still in hospital. Most are stable or improving, with one case in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 85 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,629 COVID-19 cases, with 29 fatalities from the disease.
MANDARIN ORCHARD APPROVED TO REOPEN
On Friday, MOH also said that Mandarin Orchard has been approved to reopen after investigations found no further transmission beyond the 13 imported COVID-19 cases who served stay-home notice at the hotel.
All hotel staff tested negative for COVID-19 using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, while serological tests of 11 staff are positive, indicating likely past infections.
“These findings indicate that there is no ongoing transmission at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, said MOH.
To prevent the spread of a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus circulating in South Africa, Singapore announced earlier on Friday that it will restrict the entry of some travellers from the country.
People with a travel history to South Africa within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore starting Monday. This applies to long-term pass holders and short-term visitors, including those who have obtained prior approval to enter Singapore.