3 of the 4 Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers at Singapore Expo care facility found to be negative after retesting

Healthcare workers walk past Hall 4 of the Singapore Expo, on May 8, 2020. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Three of the four Covid-19 cases found among the healthcare workers at the Singapore Expo community care facility have been retested and found to be negative.

One of them, a Singaporean radiographer, 43, was a false positive, one of 33 such cases arising from an apparatus calibration issue for a test kit. He had been reported as a confirmed case on May 7.

In a press statement on Sunday (May 10), the Ministry of Health said that upon review, 33 tests from a laboratory were found to be false positives and subsequent retesting at the National Public Health Laboratory confirmed that these were negative cases.

The ministry stressed: "There were no false negative results discovered from our review."

Immediate action had been taken to rectify the situation, the ministry said, adding that the laboratory has stopped all tests and is working to resolve the issue.

Additionally, the two other confirmed cases at the Expo facility - a 20-year old nurse and a healthcare volunteer, 52 - were shown to have had "equivocal" results.

The MOH said both of them "were subsequently verified to be negative upon retesting".

The nurse had been reported as a confirmed case on May 5 and the volunteer, on May 4.

All three of them have been discharged and are resting at home.

The remaining confirmed case, another nurse, has also been discharged on May 5.

The four healthcare workers from the community care facility (CCF) are part of a medical team managed by Woodlands Health Campus (WHC).

In a statement on Monday, the WHC spokesman said: "The safety and well-being of the team are our top priority and concern. Since the report of the first confirmed case at the CCF at Singapore Expo, we have swabbed more than 280 fellow healthcare workers and personnel of our partners at the Singapore Expo."

He added that additional measures have been implemented to ensure the continued safety of everyone, including the strict segregation of teams to specific work and rest areas, and installation of screen dividers on dining tables.

The spokesman said: "We will continue to be vigilant as we care for the patients at the CCF at Singapore Expo."

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