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19 new COVID cases in Singapore, including 2 linked to new Changi Airport cluster

·Editorial Team
·7-min read
People look at a Singapore Airlines plane, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a viewing gallery of the Changi Airport in Singapore October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
People at a viewing gallery of the Changi Airport in Singapore on 12 October, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (10 May) confirmed 19 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,378.

Three of them are local cases in the community, of whom two are linked to a new cluster at Changi Airport, while the remaining 16 are imported. This brings the total number of cases linked to the cluster to 10. 

Monday marks the 15th consecutive day with local cases reported. 

"Amongst the new cases today, 16 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while three were symptomatic," said the MOH.

The sole unlinked community case is a 59-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a chef at a MOS Burger outlet at Suntec City. Her work does not entail interaction with diners.

The woman was conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on 9 May for an unrelated condition and was tested for COVID-19, even though she is asymptomatic. 

Her test came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day, while her serological test result is pending, said the MOH.

New Changi Airport T3 cleaner cluster: 2 new cases, 10 in total

The "Case 62873" cluster is named after an 88-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. The fully-vaccinated man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 5 May.

The cluster was announced by the MOH on Sunday. All 10 cases linked to it work at Changi Airport Terminal 1 or 3.

Four cases linked to the cluster were also confirmed on Sunday, of whom two tested preliminarily positive for the Indian variant – or B1617 – while the remaining three were announced the day before.

Singapore now has 11 active COVID-19 clusters, the largest being the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster which has 43 infections linked to it.

  • T3 clinic operations personnel (fully vaccinated)

The 44-year-old Singaporean man works as an operations personnel at Raffles Medical located at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He had received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 23 February and the second dose on 16 March.

The man developed a blocked nose on 9 May but did not seek medical treatment. On the same day, he was swabbed as part of the MOH’s special COVID-19 testing operation for all workers in Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3 as well as Jewel Changi Airport, said the ministry.

The man's test result came back positive on 10 May and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). His serology test result is pending, said the MOH.

  • T3 aviation security officer (fully vaccinated)

The 59-year-old Singaporean man is employed by Certis Cisco as an aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3. His job entails security screening at the departure hall.

The man received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 25 January and the second dose on 15 February.

He developed a cough on 5 May but did not seek medical treatment until 7 May, when he visited a general practitioner clinic. 

The man was given three days’ medical leave and advised to remain at home. On 8 May night, he sought medical treatment at another general practitioner clinic as he had not recovered, and was tested for COVID-19 the next day. 

His result came back positive for COVID-19 on 10 May, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID. His earlier tests under the rostered routine testing regime – the last being on 4 May – were all negative for COVID-19. His serological test result is pending, said the MOH.

The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 59 cases in the week before to 32 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from nine cases in the week before to 10 in the past week. 

It also added four new locations to a list of public venues visited by infectious community cases: Courts at Jurong Point, Geylang Serai Malay Market and Food Centre, and Joo Chiat Complex Tanjong Katong Complex. The Courts outlet was visited on 29 April, while the three other places were visited on 4 May.

On Sunday, the MOH announced that Changi Airport Terminal 3 Basement 2 will be closed to the public temporarily with effect from 10 May, as an added precautionary measure.

Members of the public who had visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 on 3 May were also advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit.

"To pre-emptively mitigate any potential risk of wider, undetected community transmission, we will offer free COVID-19 testing for these individuals," added the ministry on Sunday.

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16 imported cases, including five Singaporeans

Of the 16 imported cases, five are Singaporeans who returned from Hong Kong and India. A 54-year-old Singaporean woman who arrived from India is the sole imported case who was symptomatic.

Two others are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from Nepal and the United Arab Emirates.

Three cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, of whom two are foreign domestic workers.

Four others are short-term visit pass holders, including one who was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had arrived from Papua New Guinea for further treatment. Two of them arrived from Indonesia to visit their family members who are Singaporeans, and the fourth arrived from Indonesia for a work project.

The remaining two cases are special pass holders who are sea crew. They arrived from Japan and were tested onboard without disembarking.

All imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested for COVID-19. 

"The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," said the MOH.

With effect from 11.59pm on 23 April, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India are not allowed entry into or transit through Singapore, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases there.

The same border control measure has been extended to travellers with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with effect from 11.59pm on 1 May.

As of 3 May, there are 504 cases – 29 local cases and 475 imported – of various strains in Singapore. Of the 29 cases, 10 have been infected with the Indian variants, including five in the TTSH cluster.

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99% of total cases have recovered, 3 in ICU

With 20 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Monday, 60,953 cases – or 99.3 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 135 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while three of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 259 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Among the 143 confirmed cases reported from 4 to 10 May, 67 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 54 have tested negative, and 22 serology test results are pending.

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