SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old foreign domestic worker from Myanmar is the sole new COVID-19 community case reported in Singapore on Saturday (Apr 3).
There were 18 new infections in all, of which 17 were imported cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The community infection, identified as Case 61508, was a close contact of another Myanmar maid who tested positive last week.
Case 61508 arrived from Myanmar on Jan 30 and served stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Feb 13. She tested negative for the coronavirus on Feb 12.
After her stay-home notice ended, she moved into a boarding house for foreign domestic workers while waiting to be deployed to her employer. She did not leave the boarding house from Feb 13 to Mar 9, said MOH.
On Mar 9, she started work at her employer’s home.
She is asymptomatic and tested positive on Apr 2 after being swabbed a day earlier as part of MOH’s investigation into Case 61184, the 26-year-old Myanmar domestic worker who tested positive on Mar 25.
All close contacts who had interacted with the earlier case outside of her infectious period were tested as a precautionary measure, said MOH.
In the latest case involving the 24-year-old maid, her serological test result has come back as positive.
“She could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection, but given that we are not able to definitively conclude that she had been infected before her arrival in Singapore, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure,” said MOH.
Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine if the two cases are linked. In the meantime, MOH said it has classified Saturday’s sole community case as a local unlinked case.
All the identified close contacts of the case, including her household members, have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period.
MOH will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the case could have been infected by them.
2 FOREIGN DOMESTIC WORKERS AMONG IMPORTED CASES
Of the 17 imported cases, three are Singapore permanent residents who returned from Brazil, India and the Ivory Coast.
Seven are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, of whom two are foreign domestic workers.
Two cases are student’s pass holders who arrived from India and the UAE, and four are work pass holders who arrived from India.
The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Myanmar to visit his family member who is a Singapore permanent resident.
All the imported cases were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH.
There were no new cases in migrant workers’ dormitories.
Nine more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore’s total recoveries to 60,185.
There are 41 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 212 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.
MORE EMPLOYEES MAY RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE FROM APR 5
From Monday, more employees may return to the workplace and split team arrangements will no longer be mandatory as Singapore eases some COVID-19 measures.
Co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong announced last week that Singapore will shift from working-from-home as a default mode to a more “flexible and hybrid way” of working.
Up to 75 per cent of employees who are presently able to work from home can now be at the workplace at any one time, up from the current 50 per cent, said Mr Wong. The current cap on the time an employee spends at the workplace will also be lifted.
“We will no longer mandate the requirement for splitting teams, but we will strongly encourage employers to still stagger the start times and implement flexible working hours, and of course, employers must continue to implement all prevailing safe management measures,” he said.
As of Saturday, Singapore has reported a total of 60,468 COVID-19 cases.