Sole Covid-19 community case is airport worker detected through routine testing

The sole community case reported on Feb 7, 2021, is a worker at Changi Airport whose job entails issuing electronic monitoring devices. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - There were 24 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday noon (Feb 7), including one community case.

The sole community case is a 43-year-old Singaporean man who works at Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3, said the Health Ministry (MOH) in an update on Sunday night.

His job entails issuing electronic monitoring devices to individuals who will be serving their stay-home notice outside of dedicated facilities, and helping them to wear the devices, said the ministry.

While on duty, he wears a surgical mask, face shield and gloves, MOH added.

The man did not show any symptoms, and was detected when he was tested on Feb 4 as part of rostered routine testing.

His result came back positive for Covid-19 infection the next day, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

His earlier tests from the routine test, the last being on Jan 22, came back negative, as did his serology test - indicating that this is likely a current infection.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, MOH said, adding that the man's close contacts including family members and co-workers have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period, the ministry said.

The other 23 cases were imported and had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore.

There were no new cases in workers' dormitories.

The latest cases take Singapore's total to 59,699 since the first Covid-19 case was detected in Singapore on Jan 23 last year.

On Saturday, the first case of likely Covid-19 reinfection was detected in Singapore - a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man on work permit who stays in a dormitory at 43 Tech Park Crescent.

He had been confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on April 12 last year and subsequently recovered, consistently testing negative for the infection from June onwards.

But on Jan 25, his test result came back positive for Covid-19 infection.

While reinfection is rare, the MOH said clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that the man has been reinfected. So far, the other recovered workers in the dormitories have not suffered a significant loss of post-infection immunity, the ministry said.

As of Saturday, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from three cases two weeks ago to one case in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also fallen from two cases to one in the same period.

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

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December 2019, has infected more than 105 million people. More than 2.3 million people have died.

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