Engineer who received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine among 2 community cases in S'pore

Both community cases reported on Feb 8, 2021, were detected when they went for rostered routine testing. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - A 30-year-old Indian national who received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 27 was among the two community cases announced on Monday night (Feb 8).

The work pass holder is an engineer at Station Satcom and boards ships to install communications and IT equipment as part of his job.

He was identified as a close contact of a previous case and was placed on quarantine between Jan 13 and 24.

His swabs taken during quarantine and as part of rostered routine testing (RRT) - the last being on Jan 29 - were all negative for the virus.

He developed fatigue on Feb 4 and a fever the next day, but did not seek medical attention, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

He was tested on Feb 5 as part of RRT and his test result came back positive the next day, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

"While his serological test taken on Feb 7 has come back positive, this is assessed to be a recent infection as he is symptomatic, and the Ct value for his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was low," said MOH.

It added that the patient's first dose of vaccine on Jan 27 accounts for his positive serology test as he has likely started producing antibodies following vaccination.

"As the vaccine does not contain live virus, he could not have been infected due to vaccination," said MOH,

"It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination."

The other unlinked community case is a 49-year-old bus driver who transports individuals placed on stay-home notice (SHN) from Changi Airport to dedicated facilities. His bus is disinfected after every trip, added MOH.

The bus driver, who works at Cobb & Coach Services, developed a runny nose on Jan 31 but did not seek medical attention. He was detected when he was tested on Feb 5 as part of RRT.

MOH added that his earlier tests from RRT - the last being on Jan 23 - were negative for Covid-19 infection and his serology test is also negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

There were also 20 imported cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), taking Singapore's total to 59,721.

They tested positive while serving stay-home notices or in isolation after their arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

FairPrice Xtra at Kallang Wave Mall and Punggol Plaza are among places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, said the Health Ministry.

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

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