Singaporean who went to Indonesia under Business Travel Pass among 12 imported Covid-19 cases

The Singaporean is the second known person holding such a pass here to be infected.
The Singaporean is the second known person holding such a pass here to be infected.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean who had travelled to Indonesia under the Business Travel Pass was one of the 12 new imported Covid-19 cases announced on Saturday (Dec 5).

He is the second known person holding such a pass here to be infected. The previous patient was announced on Nov 9 after returning from travels to the United Arab Emirates.

The pass was first announced by the Health Ministry (MOH) on Sep 23, as part of a pilot for senior executives in Singapore with regional or international responsibilities who need to travel regularly for official and business purposes.

Travellers on this pass, which is not country-specific, are required to abide by a strict, controlled itinerary when they travel abroad for work.

Upon return, they are given the option to take a Covid-19 test in lieu of serving a stay-home notice, and to self-isolate until the test results are out.

MOH said that the patient who had travelled to Indonesia under the Business Travel Pass went for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test when he returned to Singapore on Nov 28, and self-isolated while waiting for his test result. His test came back negative.

When he developed symptoms on Dec 2, he was tested again for Covid-19 at a General Practitioner clinic. He was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Friday (Dec 4), and is currently isolated at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Prior to hospitalisation, he had gone to work at ASL Shipyard at 19 Pandan Road, but had not interacted with his colleagues.

MOH noted that his serological test came back negative, which indicates a likely current infection.

All his identified close contacts have been isolated and placed on quarantine, said the Ministry.

The 11 other imported cases had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

There was also one locally transmitted case of the coronavirus. He is a Filipino crew member who arrived from the Philippines on the Normand Australis, which docked at Tuas Port on Nov 18.

MOH said he had already been placed on quarantine at a government quarantine facility since Nov 22, having had close contact with another Covid-19 patient. Prior to that, he had not disembarked from the ship.

Before boarding the ship, he took a Covid-19 pre-departure swab on Nov 2 which came back negative.

All 18 crew members were swabbed on Nov 19 and were placed on quarantine as a precautionary measure.

The new cases take Singapore's total to 58,255.

Earlier in the day, MOH had ordered Seoul Garden in Tampines Mall to suspend full operations for 10 days from Saturday for failing to comply with Covid-19 safe management measures.

The ministry said it started investigating upon receiving information that a 32-year-old service engineer had tested positive for Covid-19 after having dinner with 12 other family members at the restaurant on Nov 21.

Although the family members had been were seated at separate tables of up to five people each, intermingling had occurred between the tables.

With six cases discharged on Saturday, 58,143 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 26 patients remain in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 42 are recuperating in community facilities.

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