SIA steward worked as Grab driver before he tested positive for Covid-19, contact tracing under way

The man had worked part-time as a Grab driver from Dec 17 to 24, 2020.
The man had worked part-time as a Grab driver from Dec 17 to 24, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Airlines steward reported to have been infected with the coronavirus had worked part-time as a Grab driver from Dec 17 to 24. He had returned from the United States a day before that period.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Health Ministry (MOH) said on Wednesday (Dec 30) that contact tracing is ongoing to identify his passengers.

Airline crew here have been exempt from stay-home notices since March, provided precautions are taken to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.

The steward, a 48-year-old Singaporean, had travelled to the US for work from Dec 12 to Dec 16 under a controlled itinerary.

He was tested for the coronavirus on Dec 23 as part of proactive testing arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore for air crew who return from overseas flights.

His result came back inconclusive on Dec 25, and he was tested again on the same day. The second result was also inconclusive.

He then remained at home until he was confirmed  on Dec 27 to be infected, at which point he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

On Dec 29, Grab said the man had been temporarily suspended from its platform as a safety precaution, and it was working with MOH to support contact tracing efforts.

MOH said on Wednesday that any passengers deemed to be close contacts of the man will have to be quarantined.

"The risk of transmission is generally assessed to be low on public transport (such as buses and trains), where contact is transient. However, given the close proximity between drivers and passengers in private hire cars and taxis, passengers who are assessed to be close contacts of a confirmed case will be quarantined as a precautionary measure," said the ministry.

Separately, MOH announced that a pilot with Singapore Airlines was among 26 new imported cases on Wednesday.