Coronavirus Singapore

22-year-old student is sole new community case

A 22-year-old permanent resident who is studying in Britain was the sole community Covid-19 case announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.

He is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a Covid-19 pre-departure test on Tuesday in preparation for his return to Britain.

His test result came back positive on the same day, and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"His Ct value was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load, and his serology test result has come back positive," said MOH.

A positive serology test suggests that an infection was not so recent. Another test conducted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital yesterday was negative for Covid-19 infection.

This means that the student could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection, which are no longer transmissible and infective, said the Health Ministry.

"Given that we are not able to definitively conclude when he had been infected, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," said MOH.

The student had returned to Singapore from Britain on Jan 11 and served a 14 day stay-home notice (SHN) at a dedicated facility, followed by an additional seven-day self-isolation at his place of residence until Feb 1.

His tests taken on Jan 24 during SHN and on Jan 29 during self-isolation were both negative for Covid-19, said the ministry.

There were also 33 imported cases, taking Singapore's total to 60,381. All of them had been placed on SHN or isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Health Ministry. They arrived from countries including India, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea.

MOH said the number of new cases in the community had increased from none in the week before, to three cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community had also increased from zero to three in the same period.

  • Update on cases

  • New cases: 34

    Imported: 33 (1 permanent resident, 1 dependant's pass holder, 2 student's pass holders, 2 work pass holders, 22 work permit holders, 2 short-term visit pass holders, 3 special pass holders)

    In community: 1 (1 PR)

    In dormitories: 0

    New community cases in the past week: 3 (3 unlinked cases)

    Active cases: 202

    In hospitals: 37 (1 in ICU)

    In community facilities: 165

    Deaths: 30

    Patients with Covid-19 who died of other causes: 15

    Total discharged: 60,134

    Discharged yesterday: 11

    TOTAL CASES: 60,381

With 11 cases discharged yesterday, 60,134 people have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 37 patients remain in hospital, including one in critical condition in the intensive care unit, while 165 are recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 30 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2021, with the headline 22-year-old student is sole new community case. Subscribe