100 ICA officers at Changi Airport to be tested for Covid-19 after officer found positive on April 27; 32 quarantined

The 32 officers were identified to have been in close contact with the officer who tested positive for Covid-19.
The 32 officers were identified to have been in close contact with the officer who tested positive for Covid-19.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Thirty-two Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Changi Airport have been placed under quarantine order, while around 100 will be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution.

The 32 officers were identified to have been in close contact with the 38-year-old officer who tested positive for Covid-19, said ICA on Thursday (April 29).

The deputy team leader at Changi Airport was among the three community cases announced on Wednesday. He had been deployed at the duty officer counter, which processes arrival clearance for travellers, at Terminal 1.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) had said then that he was last at work the previous Thursday (April 22), when he had undergone a rostered routine test that returned a negative result.

He started coughing on Friday, saw a doctor the next day and was given two days of medical leave.

On Monday, he came down with a fever, anosmia (loss of ability to smell) and body aches. He sought medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng on Tuesday, where he was tested and found positive for Covid-19.

MOH said on Thursday afternoon that seven of the 16 new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection it had confirmed are family members of the ICA officer, and that they had been placed on quarantine earlier.

ICA said the officer had earlier registered to be vaccinated, but was advised by the doctor that he was not eligible due to a drug allergy. Monday, when the officer came down with Covid-19 symptoms, was his day off, it added.

Noting that the majority of its jobs are front-line roles, ICA said that its officers, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, have to be rostered for front-line deployment.

As at April 1, 92 per cent of ICA officers deployed at Changi Airport have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, common and staff areas that the officer would have come into contact with have been disinfected thoroughly, in accordance with National Environmental Agency guidelines for environmental cleaning and disinfection of areas exposed to confirmed cases of Covid-19.

These include the immigration counters, immigration offices, pantries and toilets, said ICA.