Coronavirus Singapore

More measures may be needed to tackle rising Covid-19 cases: Minister

Two more cases linked to police para-vet cluster; number of community cases inching up

Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force tackling Covid-19, said the virus situation is being monitored carefully.
Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force tackling Covid-19, said the virus situation is being monitored carefully.

Additional measures may be needed to keep the coronavirus in check here, said Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force tackling Covid-19, as community cases inch up and two more people are linked to the police para-vet cluster.

Mr Wong, who is also Education Minister, said in a Facebook post last night that Singapore has seen more new infections in recent days, including the first local cluster in months.

His comments came as the number of new cases in the community rose to 10 in the past week, up from eight in the week before.

He said contact tracers are working to ring-fence potential cases and prevent the infection from spreading further, adding: "We are also monitoring the situation carefully and considering if additional measures are necessary to ensure the infection remains under control."

Last night, the Health Ministry (MOH) confirmed 14 new cases, two of whom were from the community, bringing Singapore's total to 59,127. The two community cases were linked to the police para-veterinarian cluster - centred on a Singaporean who works at the K-9 Unit in Mowbray Road - bringing its number of cases to six.

Four of the six in the cluster did not seek medical treatment despite coming down with symptoms.

The first of the two new cases is a 43-year-old Singaporean housewife who is the spouse of a previous patient in the cluster. She had a runny nose on Jan 10 and later lost her sense of taste and developed a sore throat and diarrhoea, but did not seek medical treatment.

She was contacted by MOH last Saturday and her test came back positive the next day. She was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital by ambulance. Her serological test was negative, showing a probable current infection.

The second case is a 66-year-old Malaysian woman who has been in Singapore since January last year on a long-term visit pass. She developed acute respiratory infection symptoms and diarrhoea on Jan 9, and later lost her sense of taste, but also did not seek treatment.

She was contacted by MOH last Saturday, tested positive the next day, and was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital by ambulance. Her serological test came back positive, indicating a recent infection.

Both are family members of a 44-year-old Singaporean administrative officer who works in the same location as the para-vet.

Yesterday's 12 other cases were all imported, comprising two Singaporeans, four permanent residents, one dependant's pass holder, one student's pass holder and four work permit holders.

  • Update on cases

  • New cases: 14

    Imported: 12 (2 Singaporeans, 4 permanent residents, 4 work permit holders, 1 dependant's pass holder, 1 student's pass holder) 

    In community: 2 (1 Singaporean, 1 long-term visit pass holder)

    In dormitories: 0

    New community cases in the past week: 10 (4 unlinked cases)

    Active cases: 230

    In hospitals: 44 (0 in ICU) 

    In community facilities: 186

    Deaths: 29 

    Patients with Covid-19 who died from other causes: 15

    Total discharged: 58,853 

    Discharged yesterday: 22

    TOTAL CASES: 59,127

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2021, with the headline 'More measures may be needed to tackle rising Covid-19 cases: Minister'. Subscribe