Both Covid-19 community cases linked to police para-veterinarian to form new cluster

The two new Covid-19 cases in the community announced on Jan 17, 2021, are linked to the para-veterinarian who had earlier tested positive.
The two new Covid-19 cases in the community announced on Jan 17, 2021, are linked to the para-veterinarian who had earlier tested positive.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - The two community cases announced on Sunday (Jan 17) are linked to a Singapore Police Force para-veterinarian who was earlier confirmed to have Covid-19, to form a new cluster with four cases.

The first case, a 44-year-old Singaporean man, works as an administrative officer with the police at 2 Mowbray Road, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). He had a dry throat on Jan 7 but did not see a doctor.

The man was tested on Friday as part of the special testing operations by MOH at his workplace following his colleague's positive test.

His test result returned positive on Saturday and he was taken in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

His family member, a 44 year-old Singaporean woman who is the other community case, also had symptoms but did not see a doctor.

MOH said she developed a fever and chills on Jan 9 and subsequently lost her sense of smell and taste on Jan 13, but had not sought medical treatment.

The homemaker was contacted by MOH as part of contact tracing efforts on Saturday following her family member's positive test, and was tested when she reported having symptoms.

Her test result returned positive on Sunday, and she was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in an ambulance.

The serological tests of Sunday's two community cases have returned negative, indicating that their infections are likely current.

Said MOH: "We strongly urge everyone to do their part to reduce the risk of transmission. Those who are unwell, including those showing early/mild symptoms, should be socially responsible and seek medical attention immediately and stay at home to prevent the spread of illness to others."

MOH also announced 28 imported cases on Sunday, taking Singapore's total to 59,113.

The 28 include two Singaporeans and one permanent resident who returned from India, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

Another three are dependant's pass holders who arrived from India and the United Arab Emirates, while two are long-term visit pass holders who arrived from India.

Five are work pass holders who arrived from India, Lebanon, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.

One is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her Singaporean child.

The remaining 14 are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh and India, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker.

Meanwhile, three new locations were added to a list of places visited by infectious Covid-19 patients.

They are: Changi Airport Terminal 2 Pass Office, Koufu in Yew Tee Point and Foodfare at Block 673B Choa Chu Kang Crescent.

Individuals may access the SafeEntry Location Matching Self-Check service via the TraceTogether App, SingPass Mobile, or at this site to check whether they were at these locations during the specified timings, based on their own SafeEntry records.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at eight cases per week in the past two weeks.

The number of unlinked cases in the community in a week decreased from five cases two weeks ago to four in the past week.

With 62 cases discharged on Sunday, 58,831 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 49 patients remain in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 189 are recuperating in community facilities.

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