Over 85% of staff who work in same ward as infected NCID nurse test negative for Covid-19

Test results for the remaining staff are still pending.
Test results for the remaining staff are still pending.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - More than 85 per cent of the staff who work in the same ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), where a nurse recently tested positive for Covid-19, have tested negative for the virus.

Test results for the remaining staff are still pending, said NCID in response to queries from The Straits Times on Thursday (June 24).

"NCID is working closely with the Ministry of Health on contact tracing and the source of the infection is still under investigation," it added.

To further ensure the safety of its staff, NCID said those who had been in close contact with the nurse have been placed under quarantine or on leave of absence for two weeks, or one incubation period from the date of their last exposure to the nurse.

"Thorough cleaning of the common areas in the ward has also been completed," it added.

NCID added that the nurse had carried out her duties dressed in the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

"She had gone for the prescribed staff PCR swab surveillance testing which is routinely carried out every fortnight and had negative test results," it said.

"She completed her last routine PCR swab surveillance on June 10, which was negative."

On Wednesday, the nurse, who was caring for Covid-19 patients in an isolation ward, was one of three unlinked cases announced by MOH.

She had developed a runny nose and sore throat on Monday night, and saw a general practitioner the following day.

She had a positive antigen rapid test result that same day, and developed a fever later that day.

She also subsequently tested positive through a polymerase chain reaction test on Tuesday.

MOH had said her serology test result is negative, which suggests the presence of a recent infection.

She received her first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 29 and her second dose on Feb 20.

The nurse is currently warded in NCID and is in stable condition.

On Thursday, NCID said the nurse was responsible in promptly seeking medical attention when she felt unwell.

It added that its front-line healthcare workers are trained and equipped with the appropriate PPE. They also undergo routine swab tests.

"We emphasise frequent hand hygiene, and staff self-monitor their health status and report sick promptly when ill," it added.