SIA steward who works as part-time Grab driver is Singapore's sole Covid-19 community case

The man was detected through proactive testing arranged for air crew who had returned from overseas flights. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A Singapore Airlines steward who works as a part-time private-hire car driver with Grab was the one Covid-19 case in the community reported on Monday (Dec 28), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The 48-year-old Singaporean man is asymptomatic and was detected through proactive testing arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for air crew who had returned from overseas flights.

He recently travelled to the United States for work from Dec 12 to Dec 16 on a controlled itinerary, said MOH.

He was tested last Wednesday, but his test result came back inconclusive last Friday. This necessitated a second test on the same day, which was also inconclusive.

He had remained at home while awaiting further tests.

On Sunday, his swab came back positive for Covid-19 infection and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on the same day.

His serological test result is negative, which indicates a likely current infection.

The cabin crew on the same US flight as him all tested negative for Covid-19 infection last Wednesday.

MOH added that it has classified this case as a locally transmitted one due to the relatively long time interval between the patient's travel and his positive Covid-19 test, and that epidemiological investigations are in progress.

Meanwhile, all the identified close contacts of the patient, including his family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that MOH can detect asymptomatic cases.

It will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the patient could have been infected by them.

A restaurant in Upper Paya Lebar Road was also added to the places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

YuCun Claypot Curry Fish Head was visited by a patient on Dec 18 between 1.25pm and 2.25pm.

MOH provides the list of locations that infectious Covid-19 patients visited for at least 30 minutes and the times they visited them to get people who were at those places at the same time to monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit.

The full list of locations and times can be found on the website.

It has said that close contacts would already have been notified and that there is no need to avoid these places, as they would have been cleaned, if necessary.

MOH also announced four imported cases on Monday, taking Singapore's total to 58,529.

Of these, three are Singaporeans who returned from India, Myanmar and the United Kingdom.

The remaining case is a dependant's pass holder who arrived from India.

They were all placed on stay-home notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving SHN or under isolation.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has remained low, with a total of one case in the past week who is currently unlinked.

With 16 cases discharged on Monday, 58,371 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 35 Covid-19 patients remain in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 79 are recuperating in community facilities.

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

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