New Covid-19 cluster in S'pore, community cases up from 4 to 18 in past week

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - The number of new cases in the community has increased from four in the week before to 18 cases in the past week, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement on Wednesday night (Jan 20).

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

A third new local coronavirus cluster has been reported after three of the four community cases on Wednesday were linked to a previous case.

There were also 36 imported cases for a total of 40 new cases on Wednesday - bringing Singapore's total to 59,197.

The three cases were linked to case 59429, a 39-year-old permanent resident who works in sales at BS Industrial and Construction Supply. He tested positive for the virus earlier this week on Jan 18.

All of them are his co-workers, and MOH says that investigations are ongoing to assess if there was a breach of safe management measures at their workplace.

"The Government takes a serious view of any breach and will take actions should there be non-compliance," it said in the statement.

Two of the three did not seek medical attention after developing symptoms.

The first linked case is a 27-year-old Malaysian work pass holder who works in sales at BS Industrial and Construction Supply. He developed a sore throat on Jan 14 but did not seek medical treatment and continued to go to work. He was contacted by MOH on Jan 18 after being identified as a close contact of the original case, and subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus infection on Jan 19.

The second case is a 29-year-old Malaysian national who is also a work pass holder and works in sales at the same company.

She developed a sore throat and difficulties in breathing on Jan 16 but continued to go to work and interact with the community, said MOH.

She also tested positive for after being identified as a close contact of the original case.

The final linked case is a 28-year-old Malaysian who is also a work pass holder, employed in finance in the same company. She developed a cough on Jan 19 on the day she was placed in quarantine, and subsequently tested positive for the virus.

MOH emphasised the need for early medical treatment in stopping the spread of infection.

"Those who are unwell, including those showing early or mild symptoms, should be socially responsible and seek medical attention immediately and stay at home to prevent the spread of illness to others," it said in the statement.

The fourth community case was unlinked to this cluster - a 46-year-old Indian national who is a work pass holder working as a software engineer at Apar Technologies in Shenton Way.

His travel history from the past year includes India and the United Arab Emirates, and he served a stay-home-notice on return to Singapore until Nov 27. He tested negative for coronavirus when he was swab-tested on Nov 23 during his quarantine.

He is asymptomatic and his infection was detected when he took a pre-departure test on Jan 19 in preparation for a trip back to India.

There were also 36 imported cases reported on Wednesday, comprising one Singaporean, one permanent resident, one dependant's pass holder, one long-term visit pass holder, four student's pass holders, four work pass holders, 20 work permit holders and four short-term visit pass holders.

With 32 cases discharged on Wednesday, 58,911 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 45 patients remain in hospital, including one in the intensive care unit, while 197 are recuperating in community facilities.

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