Covid-19 traces found in NUS hostel wastewater: 437 residents tested negative for coronavirus, 1 result pending

Evidence suggests that the presence of the fragments is likely to be due to viral shedding from a past infection among the residents. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Of the 438 individuals from a residence at the National University of Singapore (NUS) who were tested in the past week after viral fragments were detected in their apartments' wastewater, all but one have returned a negative result.

One test result is still pending, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release Wednesday night (March 24).

MOH said that there is evidence to suggest that the presence of the fragments is likely to be due to viral shedding from a past infection among the residents, and the individual or individuals have since recovered.

The viral fragments were detected on March 21 from a sample collected on March 20 from the UTown Residence North Tower.

Students in the 13 apartments implicated were isolated while they were tested. They have attended classes online while waiting for the test results.

The university has had a wastewater surveillance programme in place at all its hostels since Dec 7.

"As a precautionary measure, MOH carried out a special testing operations to test residents of the affected apartments," it said.

There were 15 new imported coronavirus cases reported by MOH on Wednesday. These were Singaporeans and pass holders arriving from Indonesia, Britain, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.

These cases brought Singapore's total up to 60,236.

Of the 15 cases, 14 were asymptomatic while one was symptomatic.

They had all been placed on stay-home-notices on arrival in Singapore and tested then.

The Health Ministry added that number of new cases in the community has decreased from two cases two weeks ago to none in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community in a week has decreased two cases to none over the same period.

With 15 cases discharged on Wednesday, 60,063 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 25 patients remain in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 103 are recuperating in community facilities.

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

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