SINGAPORE: Two community cases and one dormitory resident were among the 39 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Friday (Apr 23).
The two community cases are currently unlinked, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
One case is a 33-year-old Indonesian man who is a sea crew on board a bunker tanker. Identified as Case 62285, he arrived by flight from Indonesia on Feb 4 and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Feb 18.
His on-arrival test on Feb 4 was negative for COVID-19, as well as the test taken during his stay-home notice on Feb 17.
He boarded a vessel on Feb 18 and had not disembarked except to for his COVID-19 vaccination.
The man is asymptomatic and was detected when he was tested onboard on Apr 20 as part of the Martime and Port Authority of Singapore’s protocol to test sea crew.
His test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in an ambulance. His serology test result has come back positive.
Case 62285 received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Apr 16, said MOH, adding that the man could not have been infected due to vaccination as the vaccine does not contain live virus.
“It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination,” said MOH.
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The other case, case 62294, is a 38-year-old Indonesian man who is a short-term visit pass holder.
He is in Singapore for a work project and had arrived from Indonesia on Mar 28. He served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Apr 11. His on-arrival test, as well as the swab test taken during his stay-home notice on Apr 10, were negative for COVID-19.
The man is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Apr 22 in preparation for his trip back to Indonesia, said MOH.
His test result came back positive on the same day and he was taken to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in an ambulance. The man’s test result also came back positive.
He also received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Mar 4 and the second dose on Mar 18 in Indonesia.
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The one case residing in a dormitory is currently unlinked. The 27-year-old India national, Case 62273, is a work permit holder who arrived in Singapore in October 2018.
He is employed by Sembcorp Marine Integrated Yard and works at Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard. He is a resident of SCM Tuas Lodge at 80 Tuas South Boulevard.
Case 62273 is asymptomatic and was detected when he was tested on Apr 19 as part of rostered routine testing.
His pooled test result came back positive and he was immediately isolated. An individual test was done on Apr 20 and his test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. His earlier tests from rostered routine testing, the last being on Apr 12, were all negative for COVID-19. His serology test result came back positive.
He received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Mar 11 and the second dose on Apr 1, which likely accounts for his lack of symptoms and positive serology test result.
NINE SINGAPOREANS AMONG IMPORTED CASES
The remaining 36 cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH.
Among them, nine were Singaporeans and seven were permanent residents who returned from India, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea.
Three were dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India and Nepal, another three were student’s pass holders who arrived from India.
Another four cases were work pass holders who arrived from India, the Maldives and Nepal.
Nine were work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Six of them are foreign domestic workers.
The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived form India to visit his family member who is a Singaporean.
MOH said 10 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 60,613 have fully recovered from the infection.
There are 80 confirmed cases still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with one patient in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another 220 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. They have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from four cases in the week before to 10 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from three cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.
Among the 174 confirmed cases reported from Apr 17 to Apr 23, 65 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 73 have tested negative, and 36 serology test results are pending.
SINGAPORE TO STOP ENTRY FOR VISITORS FROM INDIA
From 11.59pm on Friday, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, the authorities announced on Thursday.
This includes visitors who transit in India and all who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.
There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in India, with the country recording on Friday the world’s highest daily tally of 332,730 cases.
Many of the new arrivals from India work in the construction, marine and process sectors and live in the dormitories, noted Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.
“We know that this major move will have an impact on our construction, marine and process sectors. And many local SMEs and contractors will be badly impacted,” he said at a press conference on Thursday, adding that the Government will be looking at providing additional support measures to help these companies.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported 60,943 cases of COVID-19.