Indonesian man is sole Covid-19 community case in S'pore, tests preliminarily positive for B117 strain

The sole community case reported in Singapore on April 18, 2021, is an Indonesian crew member on board a bunker tanker.
The sole community case reported in Singapore on April 18, 2021, is an Indonesian crew member on board a bunker tanker.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 39-year-old Indonesian was the lone locally transmitted case of Covid-19 confirmed here on Sunday (April 18).

He tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, which is reportedly more contagious.

The man is a crew member on board a bunker tanker and had not disembarked from the vessel except to go for Covid-19 testing and vaccination, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

He did not show any symptoms and was detected when he was tested on April 15 as part of rostered routine testing.

The man's pooled test result came back positive the next day and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

An individual test done on April 16 came back positive for Covid-19 infection the next day.

His earlier tests from rostered routine testing - the last one being on April 1 - had all been negative.

His serological test result has come back negative, indicating this is likely a current infection.

While he has tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, further confirmatory tests are pending.

The man had also received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccination on April 15. However, MOH said that as the vaccine does not contain live virus, he could not have been infected due to vaccination.

The ministry added that it is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination.

MOH said that epidemiological investigations are ongoing and in the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the case, including crew members of the vessel, have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

There were also 22 imported cases on Sunday, taking Singapore's total to 60,831.

All 22 had already been placed on stay-home notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore and tested positive during that period.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from two in the week before to eight in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two in the week before to five in the past week.

With 22 more cases discharged on Sunday, 60,470 have fully recovered from the disease.

There are also currently 68 confirmed cases still in hospital. Of these, two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 248 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Singapore has had 30 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.