Cleaner who works at Changi Airport T3 transit area is Singapore's sole Covid-19 community case

The cleaner who works in the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3 was asymptomatic when tested.
The cleaner who works in the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3 was asymptomatic when tested.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - A cleaner who works in the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3 has tested positive for Covid-19, one of two cases of local transmission reported on Tuesday (Dec 1).

She is 66 years old and lives in Yishun with her husband, who is unemployed, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement on Tuesday night.

She tested positive on Monday, and was asymptomatic when tested. Her infection was detected through the MOH's bi-weekly rostered routine testing (RRT) of front-line workers.

The patient was taken to hospital after her test came back positive. Her serological test is negative, which is likely to indicate a current infection, said the ministry.

The MOH added that she wears personal protective equipment at work, including a face mask, face shield, gloves and gown, and that her earlier swabs done as part of RRT were negative.

Epidemiological investigations are in progress. All of her identified close contacts, including her family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed in quarantine, and are being tested at the start and end of their quarantine periods.

The other locally transmitted case was from a foreign workers' dormitory, the first such case after 20 consecutive days without one.

The patient was detected through proactive surveillance, said the MOH. All his close contacts at the dormitory and his workplace have been placed in quarantine.

In all, there were 10 new coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday, taking Singapore's total to 58,228.

The remaining eight cases were imported. They comprised five work permit holders coming from Indonesia and Myanmar, one work pass holder coming from Japan, one special pass holder from Indonesia and a one-year-old child coming from Russia on a long-term visit pass.

They were all placed on stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities on arrival in Singapore. Seven of the eight were asymptomatic and tested positive during their SHN periods.

The special pass holder, a 43-year-old Indonesian man, experienced the onset of symptoms on Sunday and tested positive on Monday. He had been arrested by the Police Coast Guard for his suspected involvement in a prior case, the MOH said.

Two food outlets, Kopitiam and Heavenly Wang in Changi Airport Terminal 3, were added to the list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

The MOH provides the list of locations that infectious Covid-19 patients visited for at least 30 minutes and the times they visited them to get people who were at those places at the same time to monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit.

The full list of locations and times can be found on the gov.sg website.

Close contacts of the patients would already have been notified and there is no need to avoid these places, as they would have been cleaned if necessary.

With five more cases discharged on Tuesday, 58,124 patients have recovered from the disease.

The number of unlinked cases in the community remains low, with a total of five in the last week.

There are 29 patients in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 31 are recuperating in community facilities.

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