Royal Caribbean passenger does not have Covid-19 after final test is negative: MOH

The 83-year-old passenger who tested positive earlier while aboard the Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship tested negative on Dec 10, 2020. ST PHOTOS: GIN TAY, KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The 83-year-old passenger who tested positive earlier while aboard the Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise ship tested negative on Thursday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The ministry gave this update as it also announced six new coronavirus cases on Thursday, all of which were imported and placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore.

Thursday's new cases take Singapore's total to 58,297.

Regarding the 83-year-old cruise passenger, MOH said it has rescinded the quarantine orders of his close contacts who were earlier quarantined as a precaution while investigations were being done.

The ministry added that it will support the laboratory on board the Quantum of the Seas ship in its review of its testing processes.

MOH earlier said the 83-year-old man tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday morning and was immediately isolated.

The man had reported to the ship's medical centre with diarrhoea and was tested for the infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test equipment on board the ship.

His original PCR sample was later retested at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and came back negative for Covid-19 infection, MOH said. A second fresh sample was tested and also found to be negative on Wednesday night.

NPHL conducted another test on Thursday to confirm his Covid-19 status, which MOH said later in the day was also negative.

All the identified close contacts of the man were isolated as a precautionary measure, and all passengers underwent mandatory Covid-19 testing before they were allowed to leave the terminal at Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

As a precaution, passengers are also required to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of disembarkation and undergo a swab test at the end of the monitoring period.

SPH Brightcove Video
A timeline detailing events following an elderly passenger on board the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship testing positive for Covid-19.

On Wednesday, six new coronavirus cases were confirmed.

All six cases were imported and had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said the MOH.

They were a Singaporean, two permanent residents and three work permit holders who are currently employed here.

One of the work permit holders, a 37-year-old who arrived from Indonesia, started to have symptoms on Nov 25 and was confirmed positive on Tuesday. She was a contact of a previous case.

The remaining five cases were asymptomatic and were detected through proactive screening and surveillance, the ministry said.

The Singaporean is a 64-year-old man who returned from Indonesia.

The two permanent residents are a 39-year-old man and an eight-year-old girl who returned from India. The girl is linked to a previous case.

The other two work permit holders had arrived from Indonesia.

All six new cases were tested while serving their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.

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There were no new cases from workers' dormitories and none in the community, said the ministry.

The MOH said the number of new cases in the community has remained low, with a total of one case in the past week that was linked to a previous case.

With six cases discharged on Wednesday, 58,167 patients have fully recovered from Covid-19.

A total of 20 patients were in hospital, while 60 patients were recuperating in community facilities.

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

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 68.2 million people. More than 1.5 million people have died.

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