13 new Covid-19 cases in S'pore, including 9 linked to Safra Jurong dinner, and an SIA steward

Nine of the new cases announced on March 6 are linked to a dinner event at Safra Jurong. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Thirteen new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Singapore, nine of them linked to a dinner at Safra Jurong on Feb 15, the Ministry of Health said on Friday (March 6).

Two others are believed to be imported cases, one linked to a previous case, and the last with no known links yet.

The private dinner function at Joy Garden restaurant is now linked to 17 cases in total. The nine new cases are Singaporeans between the ages of 33 and 70.

Not all were at the dinner.

Of the other confirmed cases, one is a 55-year-old Singtel staff.

Another is a 47-year-old Singaporean, a Singapore Airlines (SIA) steward who had been in South Africa from Feb 14 to 17 and France from Feb 22 to 24.

He is believed to be an imported case, that is, he got the virus outside Singapore. He tested positive for Covid-19 on March 5.

The other likely imported case is a 37-year-old Singapore permanent resident who was in Germany from Feb 27 to March 5. She was confirmed of having the infection on March 6.

The last case confirmed is a 77-year-old man with no recent travel history to affected regions. He had been in the same ward as Case 109 at Singapore General Hospital from Feb 29 to March 1.

Case 109 is a 70-year-old man who works at Fishmart Sakuraya in West Coast Road.

MOH said that "as part of enhanced precautions, patients who have acute respiratory infections will be placed in wards with greater separation between patients to minimise the risk of infection".

The 13 new cases confirmed is the biggest jump in a day.

To date, there are 130 confirmed cases. A total of 82 patients have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Of the 48 still in hospital, most are stable or improving. Nine are in critical care in the intensive care unit.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Singtel said: "We regret to inform that one of our colleagues was diagnosed with Covid-19 last night. He is currently in hospital receiving treatment and we are supporting him and his family in every way we can."

The immediate priority has been to manage and minimise the risk of infection at Singtel Comcentre 1, where the employee works on Level 20.

He was last in office on Feb 26 before going on medical leave. "We have closed off Level 20 and an MOH-approved cleaning crew was brought in overnight to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the entire floor", the statement added.

There are currently six clusters of infection here in Singapore. The dinner function at Joy Garden Restaurant in Safra Jurong cluster is now the second largest. The five others are: the Wizlearn Technologies cluster, the Yong Thai Hang health products shop, the Grand Hyatt Singapore, a Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site and the former clusters at Grace Assembly of God and the Life Church and Missions Singapore that are now considered one cluster, as a result of the earlier discovery of a missing link between the two.

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