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1 in community among 7 new COVID cases in S'pore, tested prelim positive for UK strain

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Nasal swab sticks and liquid reagents are pictured at a COVID-19 screening station in Singapore.
Nasal swab sticks and liquid reagents are pictured at a COVID-19 screening station in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore on Wednesday (24 February), taking the country's total case count to 59,890.

There is one new case of locally-transmitted infection in the community. The remaining six are imported.

The lone local infection – as well as the sole symptomatic case on Wednesday – is a 35-year-old Indonesian woman employed as a foreign domestic worker by two previously reported cases.

They are a 41-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a cabin crew member with Singapore Airlines and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 9 February, and her 43-year-old Singaporean husband who was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 21 February.

Together, the three infections form a new "case 60102" cluster, named after the Singaporean woman's case number.

The foreign domestic worker had been identified as the Singaporean woman's close contact and was placed on quarantine on 9 February.

The Indonesian national's swab taken on the same day was negative for COVID-19, and she also tested negative for her serology test.

While she developed a cough on 20 February during quarantine, it was not reported to the MOH, said the ministry.

On 22 February, she was tested for COVID-19 and her result came back positive the next day. She was subsequently conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"Her serological test result has come back positive but this is likely to be a recent infection. She has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests," said the MOH.

Amongst the six imported cases, two are work pass holders who arrived from India and Japan, said the MOH.

Another is a work permit holder who arrived from Indonesia and is a foreign domestic worker.

One is a student’s pass holder who arrived from India for studies here.

The remaining two cases are short-term visit pass holders – one arrived from Sri Lanka to visit his family member who works here, while the other is a sea crew member who arrived from Malaysia on a vessel and was tested onboard without disembarking.

All six imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice or during isolation.

The ministry also noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from six in the week before to two in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from three in the week before to none in the past week.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With eight more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 59,761 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 18 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 82 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 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.

Amongst the 69 confirmed cases reported from 18 to 24 February, 47 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 14 have tested negative, and eight serology test results are pending.

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