3 community cases among 23 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including ICA officer and TTSH nurse

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SINGAPORE: Three community cases were among 23 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Wednesday (April 28).

A nurse deployed to a general ward at Tan Tock Seng Hospital is among three unrelated community cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

She tested positive for COVID-19 infection on April 27 and was kept at the National Center for Infectious Diseases. The nurse received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is possible that vaccinated people could be infected, the health ministry said.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital also locked down the affected 9D ward, where it was deployed and tested the patients and staff who were in the ward. So far, four cases – one doctor and three patients – have previously tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

AN ICA OFFICER DEPLOYED AT CHANGI AIRPORT AMONG COMMUNITY CASES

An Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer deployed to Terminal 1 at Changi Airport is among the three reported cases. The man, a 38-year-old Singaporean, had not gone to work after the onset of symptoms.

He developed a cough on April 23 and sought medical treatment the next day at a general medicine clinic, where he was given two days of medical leave. He developed a fever, anosmia (loss of smell) and body aches on April 26.

The man sought medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day. He was tested for COVID-19 and his test came back positive the same day.

“His previous tests of the routine tests listed – the last being April 22 – were all negative for COVID-19 infection,” the health ministry said, adding that his serological test is pending.

The other community case is a 58-year-old Singaporean who works as a construction project manager in Nepal. Identified as case 62526, the man was in Nepal from February 13, 2020 to December 13, 2020.

The man served his notice of stay in a dedicated establishment until December 27 when he returned to Singapore. His test performed on December 23 during his quarantine period was negative for COVID-19.

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He is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on April 26 in preparation for his return trip to Nepal. His test came back positive the next day. He was taken to the National Center for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance. His serological test is underway.

MOH said the man’s Ct value is “very high” indicating a low viral load.

“He might be getting rid of tiny fragments of viral RNA from a past infection that are no longer transmissible and infectious to others, but given that we are not able to definitively conclude when he was infected, we will take all necessary public health measures as a precautionary measure, ”he added.

IMPORTED CASES

The remaining 20 cases were imported and placed on home stay notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, the health ministry said.

Two Singaporeans and a permanent resident who returned from India and the United Arab Emirates were among the 20 imported cases reported on Wednesday.

One is a dependent passport holder who arrived from Nepal and five are a work permit holder who arrived from India, Japan, Maldives, Nepal and Uzbekistan.

Two foreign domestic workers are among six work permit holders who have arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines.

Four other cases are short-term visitor pass holders. Three had arrived from India to visit family members in Singapore while the other had arrived from the Philippines for a work project.

The remaining case is a special pass holder who is a sea crew. He arrived from Indonesia on a ship without disembarking.

No cases have been reported in the dormitories of migrant workers.

NEW CLUSTER

A new cluster was reported on Wednesday, with two confirmed cases linked to a previously reported infection, case 62049.

Case 62049 is a 79-year-old Indian national who had arrived from India to visit his son, a permanent resident of Singapore. He tested positive for COVID-19 on April 16.

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His wife has been quarantined in a government quarantine facility and has tested negative multiple times.

Their son, identified as case 62373, had requested to take care of his mother at the quarantine facility and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on April 24.

On April 27, the 75-year-old woman – Case 62524 – tested positive for COVID-19.

The health ministry said 14 more cases of COVID-19 have been released from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 60,718 people have fully recovered from the infection.

There are still 112 confirmed cases in hospital, most of which are stable or improving, with no critically ill patients in the intensive care unit.

226 other cases are isolated and treated in community establishments. They have mild symptoms or are clinically fine but still test positive for COVID-19.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has dropped from nine cases the previous week to 13 cases last week.

The number of unrelated cases in the community also fell from five cases the previous week to six cases last week.

Of the 206 confirmed cases reported from April 22 to Wednesday, 90 cases have tested positive for their serological tests. A total of 85 test results were negative, with the remaining 31 serological test results pending.

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NEW CLUSTER AT DORMITORY WESTLITE WOODLANDS

Five cases of COVID-19 that are “probable” re-infections were discovered in the dormitory in Westlite Woodlands, the Department of Health said on Tuesday.

The five cases occupied the same room in the dormitory with cases 62181 and 62225, residents who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, forming a new cluster.

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The five men are among 24 recovered workers who tested positive for the coronavirus under special testing operations for residents of Westlite Woodlands dormitories.

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The ministry said 11 of the 24 cases were assessed as shedding virus fragments. Two of them are negative on re-examination while the other six cases are awaiting assessment by a panel of experts.

The tests were carried out as part of the investigations into case 62181, which tested positive for COVID-19 on April 19.

The workers were not included in the new Tuesday case numbers.

PRE-EMPTIVE TESTS IN DORMITORIES, SITE

Preventive testing for COVID-19 is underway in dormitories and construction sites after the Westlite Woodlands Dormitory cluster was reported, the Department of Manpower said on Wednesday.

More than 5,500 workers were tested between April 23 and April 26.

These tests are in addition to the routine tests performed on dormitory residents every two weeks. Workers who have recovered from COVID-19 and those who have never been infected are included.

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Movement restrictions or quarantines may also be imposed on a dormitory if a few workers there test positive for COVID-19, MOM said.

He added that this precaution is only necessary for the duration of the evaluation and will be lifted once the tests are completed.

Workers can still access common facilities and recreation centers in dormitories, with regulations in place to prevent residents from mixing. However, movement between the dormitory blocks is not authorized and security management measures have been reinforced.

Singapore reported a total of 61,086 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

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