Coronavirus: SAF regular among three new cases confirmed in Singapore

The MOH said that three more cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed here on Feb 16, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Three more cases of coronavirus infections have been confirmed here, bringing the total number to 75, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday (Feb 16).

Of the new cases, two - including the first Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular - are linked to the cluster at Grace Assembly of God, and the other is linked to a previous case.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the 43-year-old serviceman worked at Building 613 of Tengah Air Base and tested positive for the infection on Saturday.

He is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and last visited his workplace on Feb 6. Mindef said the SAF has carried out immediate disinfection of the premises the serviceman visited.

MOH said he visited a clinic on Feb 10 after the onset of symptoms the previous day. He was served a home quarantine order on Feb 13, and taken the next day to NCID. He stays in Toa Payoh.

"All servicemen have been reminded to continue with ongoing personal health and hygiene measures," it said.

These include regular hand-washing with soap, twice-daily temperature taking, monitoring of their health, and consultation with a doctor if they feel unwell.

"The SAF has been in contact with the serviceman to render support and assistance," Mindef said.

Case 74 is a 29-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China.

He first had symptoms last Wednesday and sought treatment at Alexandra Hospital the same day and again on Saturday, where he was confirmed to have Covid-19 and is now warded in an isolation room.

He worked at Hi-Yew Technology in Ubi Road and stays in Mei Ling Street.

Case 75 is a 71-year-old Singaporean woman who also had not travelled to China recently.

She is a family member of Case 41 and had been quarantined since Feb 7, before she was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Sunday. She is warded in an isolation room at NCID.

Meanwhile, one more patient has been discharged.

To date, a total of 19 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital. Of the 56 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. Five are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Of the suspected Covid-19 cases, 871 have tested negative and test results for the remaining 119 cases are pending.

As of noon on Sunday, MOH has identified 2,179 close contacts, with 1,781 of the 2,045 still in Singapore quarantined or isolated. Efforts to contact the remaining 264 are ongoing.

With 18 confirmed cases, Grace Assembly of God remains the largest cluster here now. Services and activities at both its branches have been suspended for about two weeks.

On Friday, the MOH reactivated its network of 900 general practice clinics, designated Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), which provide subsidised treatment, investigations and drugs during public health outbreaks for patients with symptoms.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents will pay a flat subsidised rate of $10 for consultation and treatment at PHPCs. Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation seniors pay $5. Patients with respiratory symptoms can also go to polyclinics, where the subsidies will also apply.

Doctors have been advised to give five days of sick leave to patients with respiratory symptoms to prevent further community spread of the coronavirus.

Other clusters so far are the Life Church and Missions Singapore, the Yong Thai Hang health products shop, the Grand Hyatt Singapore and a Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site.

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