49 new coronavirus cases in Singapore; 3 cases form new cluster at SingPost Centre

According to Singapore Post, the three cases comprise one contract staff member and two full-time employees working on the same floor.
According to Singapore Post, the three cases comprise one contract staff member and two full-time employees working on the same floor.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A new cluster involving three people working at the packet-processing facility at SingPost Centre in Eunos was identified on Friday, as the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced 49 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

According to Singapore Post, the cases comprise one contract staff member and two full-time employees working on the same floor.

"The two full-time SingPost employees are not postmen and do not have contact with members of the public in their line of work," it said.

SingPost added that it is suspending all packet-processing operations at SingPost Centre on March 26 and 27 for thorough cleaning and to facilitate contact tracing, and all employees working on the same floor have been instructed to stay home until further notice.

"As a result, members of the public should note that delivery of packages may be slightly delayed as cleaning and disinfection are underway," it said, adding that it expects operations to resume on Monday (March 30). The delivery of letters is not affected.

SingPost also stressed that there is no known risk of contracting the virus through physical items so far.

Similarly, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said it seeks the public's patience if there are delays in packet deliveries.

"IMDA will work with SingPost to minimise impact on mail operation, and to support its efforts to protect the health and well-being of postal workers."

The contract staff member is a 47-year-old man who was last at the processing facility on March 19 and was confirmed to have the coronavirus on March 24. The two full-time staff tested positive on March 27.

"This is despite SingPost's strict heath-screening and social-distancing protocol for all contractors and staff members," said SingPost.

MOH also announced on Friday five more cases linked to the cluster at the PCF Sparkletots pre-school in Fengshan. This means there are now 25 cases linked to the Fengshan pre-school, 16 of whom are staff there and nine who are related to the principal.

 
 
 

The new cases include a six-year-old child who is family member of the principal. A spokesman for the Early Childhood Development Agency said the six-year-old is enrolled at PPIS Child Development Centre - Bedok Reservoir. The child was last at the centre on March 11 and was well then.

Said ECDA: "As the child's last contact with the PPIS Centre was 15 days before being tested positive, the PPIS Centre is not required to close for 14 days."

The centre had been cleaned and disinfected on March 25 but the ECDA said it would be closed on Saturday (March 28) for a further round of cleaning and will resume operations on Monday (March 30) barring any new developments.

There were also three new cases linked to the cluster at Dover Court International School, bringing the number of people linked to the school to seven.

Another nine local cases are currently not linked to previous cases or to travel.

All in, 27 of the 49 new cases announced are local cases, with the remaining 22 imported. All but two of the imported cases are returning residents or long-term pass holders. The new cases bring the total number in Singapore to 732.

A total of 183 have recovered, with another 11 being discharged on Friday. Of the 432 still in hospital, most are stable or improving, while 17 are in critical care.