Coronavirus outbreak: IMPACT ON SINGAPORE

Certis officer had no close contact with public at Chingay: PA

A view of the Certis Integrated Operations Centre on Oct 23, 2019.
A view of the Certis Integrated Operations Centre on Oct 23, 2019.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

He had undergone temperature checks and shown no signs of being unwell, says organiser

The security officer deployed at this year's Chingay parade and later found to have contracted the coronavirus was not in close contact with any of the performers or audience, said its organiser, the People's Association (PA).

In a WhatsApp message to Chingay participants and performers as well as grassroots leaders, PA said the 37-year-old Certis Cisco officer had undergone temperature checks on both days of the parade - Jan 31 and Feb 1 - and not shown signs of being unwell.

"We apologise for the alarm caused due to the news but based on the current facts, the officer was not in close contact with any of our performers/audience," said the message seen by The Straits Times.

A PA spokesman said the message was sent to volunteers and performers to allay concerns.

The male officer was one of the two newest coronavirus cases found in Singapore on Monday.

In response to queries, Certis Cisco confirmed that the officer went through temperature taking on both days of the parade. "At the point of screening, the officer was not running a fever and showed no signs of being unwell," it added.

On Monday, the Health Ministry said that before he developed symptoms, the officer had served quarantine orders on two people from Wuhan who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

He had told the Health Ministry in an interview, after he tested positive on Feb 9, that he developed symptoms on Jan 31. He saw a general practitioner on Feb 2 and was hospitalised on Feb 6. But before he was hospitalised, he went to work at the Certis Cisco Centre in Paya Lebar.

Chingay was held at the F1 Pit Building. On the first day, Jan 31, he was deployed near the junction of Raffles Avenue and Bayfront Avenue to facilitate traffic.

The PA message said there "was minimal interaction between the officer and performers or the crowd as the performers/crowd are constantly moving".

On Feb 1, he was sent to the Youth Olympic Park area to relieve other officers during their break.

The PA message said: "Performers did not access that area and there was limited crowd movement there. The officer was roving in that area and did not have prolonged interaction with any members of the public."

It also said PA will work with the Health Ministry to assess the situation and activate any contact tracing if needed. The officer is now warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

A Certis Cisco spokesman said the office where the officer was working has been disinfected and the building put on enhanced cleaning measures. Besides having temperature checks at all building entry points and mandatory travel and health declarations, the company will not deploy officers who report they are unwell or on leave of absence, she added.

"We are currently focused on providing all necessary assistance to the affected employee in his recovery and support for his family.

"Team leaders at Certis have also reached out to his teammates to offer their support and understand their concerns."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2020, with the headline 'Certis officer had no close contact with public at Chingay: PA'. Print Edition | Subscribe