SINGAPORE: Singapore’s sole COVID-19 dormitory case is a fully vaccinated work permit holder whose infection was detected through rostered routine testing, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Apr 23).
The man, identified as Case 62273, is an Indian national who lives at the SCM Tuas Lodge at 80 Tuas South Boulevard, said MOH in its daily update.
His infection is currently unlinked.
He is employed by Sembcorp Marine Integrated Yard and works at Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard.
The 21-year-old man, who arrived in Singapore in October 2018, is asymptomatic.
His infection was detected on Apr 19 when his pooled test result for the rostered routine testing came back positive for COVID-19. He was immediately isolated, said the ministry.
He took an individual COVID-19 test on Apr 20, which came back positive the next day and was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.
Prior to that, all of his earlier rostered routine tests for COVID-19, with the last taken on Apr 12, had come back negative.
The worker’s serology test has also come back positive, added MOH.
The man is fully vaccinated, having received the first dose of his vaccine on Mar 11 and the second dose on Apr 1.
“This likely accounts for his lack of symptoms and positive serology test result,” said MOH.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is effective in preventing symptomatic disease for the vast majority of those vaccinated, but it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected.
“Further research is needed to determine if the vaccination will also prevent onward transmission of the infection,” said MOH.
“Our existing key enablers – safe management measures, testing, and contact tracing – continue to be necessary and effective in helping us to mitigate spread and keep community transmission low.”
The dormitory resident is among three locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday, out of a total of 39 new cases.
The other two locally transmitted cases are community infections – an Indonesian who is a sea crew member on board a bunker tanker and another Indonesian who is a short-term visit pass holder in Singapore on a work project.
Both had tested negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore.
READ: Compass One, Wisma Atria, Lucky Plaza among places visited by COVID-19 community cases during infectious period
MOH on Thursday announced that dormitory residents working in the construction, marine and process sectors who have recovered from COVID-19 will no longer be exempted from rostered routine testing (RRT).
“They will be enrolled back on RRT once they have passed 270 days from the date of past infection,” said MOH.
This comes after 17 recovered residents at Westlite Woodlands dormitory tested positive again for the coronavirus.
To combat potentially new variants of virus, Singapore might have to continue with “further rounds of vaccination even beyond this year”, the co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong said on Thursday.
“We will have to be confronting not just the virus today but potentially new strains of the virus that may be more infectious and virulent,” he said at a virtual press conference held by the task force.
READ: Measures put in place at Westlite Woodlands dormitory after 17 recovered workers test positive for COVID-19 again
The move, which will take effect from Apr 29, was announced after 17 workers living at Westlite Woodlands dormitory who recovered from COVID-19 tested positive again for the disease.
Previously, all recovered workers need not undergo routine testing. Authorities had said in November that they were at low risk of re-infection, which means these workers are “unlikely to benefit from RRT”.