IT engineer who declined Covid-19 test despite runny nose is S'pore's sole new community case

MOH reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, with 1 in the community, on March 12, 2021.
MOH reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, with 1 in the community, on March 12, 2021.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An IT engineer who works at Deutsche Bank was the sole Covid-19 community case announced on Friday (March 12).

He developed a runny nose on March 1 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner's on the same day but declined to be tested for Covid-19, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The work pass holder, who has been working from home since his arrival from India in January, was given five days of medical leave and advised to return for a test if he did not recover, MOH added.

He was subsequently detected on Thursday when he took a Covid-19 pre-departure test in preparation for his trip to India.

His test result came back positive for the virus on the same day, and he was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance.

The IT engineer had previously arrived from India on Jan 16 and served a stay-home notice (SHN) at a dedicated facility until Jan 30.

His test taken on Jan 29 during SHN was negative for Covid-19.

The Indian national's serological test result is positive, which indicates a likely past infection.

"Those who are advised by their doctor to be tested for Covid-19 should do so, even if they are showing mild symptoms," MOH added.

There were also nine imported cases confirmed by the Health Ministry, taking Singapore's total to 60,080.

They tested positive while serving SHNs after their arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

They came from several countries including Indonesia, Switzerland and Philippines.

Among the nine cases were two short-term visit pass holders who arrived from Cambodia and Indonesia who were already receiving medical care in Singapore and had returned for further treatment.

Sengkang Community Club and Toast Box at Bugis Junction are among places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, said the Health Ministry.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at three cases per week in the past two weeks.

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

With 11 cases discharged on Friday, 59,935 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 21 patients remain in hospital, including one in the critical condition in the intensive care unit, while 80 are recuperating in community facilities.

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