Worker from India found to have Covid-19 during routine testing, first dorm case in S'pore since Dec 15

Foreign workers resting in an on-site dormitory on June 1, 2020.
Foreign workers resting in an on-site dormitory on June 1, 2020.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The lone locally transmitted coronavirus case reported on Wednesday (Jan 13) was from a workers' dormitory, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement.

The man is a work permit holder who arrived from India on Dec 11 last year and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 25.

His swabs done on Dec 21 and Dec 27 both came back negative. But a subsequent test taken on Tuesday (Jan 12) as part of rostered routine testing came back positive.

"Given the relatively long time interval between his travel and positive Covid-19 test, we have classified this case as locally transmitted while epidemiological investigations are in progress," said MOH.

The man - currently an unlinked case - resides at Seatown Dormitory in Tuas and started work in the construction sector on Jan 6.

The Health Ministry added that all his close contacts, including those in the dormitory and his co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that asymptomatic cases can be detected.

MOH also announced on Wednesday that there were 37 imported cases, bringing Singapore's total to 58,984.

They included three Singaporeans and five permanent residents who returned from France, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

There were also 21 work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Eight of the work permit holders are foreign domestic workers, and one is a sailor who worked on board bunker tanker NewOcean 6.

The 49-year-old Indonesian man was newly added to the NewOcean 6 cluster, which now has a total of 12 confirmed cases.

He was placed on quarantine on Dec 31, 2020 and tested positive on Tuesday.

NewOcean 6 ceased all operations after MOH announced that nine cases were linked to the cluster on Tuesday.

The imported cases also included a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Brazil to participate in an e-sports event.

Overall, there were four new cases in the community in the last seven days week, and 12 cases the week before.

There were also two unlinked cases in the community in the last seven days, compared with five the week before.

With 28 cases discharged on Wednesday, 58,707 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 56 patients remain in hospital, including one in the intensive care unit, while 177 are recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 29 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive died of other causes.