3 new Covid-19 cases linked to cluster at Kallang firm, employee didn’t see doctor when sick

Two of the new cases in the cluster lived in the same households as infected employees from BS Industrial Construction & Supply. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Three of the four community cases reported on Thursday (Jan 21) have been linked to a cluster at BS Industrial & Construction Supply, said the Ministry of Health on Thursday night.

The first case recorded in the cluster was a sales person who tested positive on Jan 18.

There are now seven cases in the cluster.

The total number of community cases continues to rise, with 21 cases in the past seven days, compared with three in the previous seven.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased to six cases in the past seven days from one in the previous seven.

Two of the new cases in the cluster lived in the same households as infected employees from BS Industrial & Construction Supply.

One, a 43-year-old Singaporean woman, is the spouse of the 39-year-old permanent resident who was the first case detected in the cluster.

She works as an online trader and does not physically interact with her clients. She was placed on quarantine on Jan 18 when her husband was confirmed to have the infection, and tested positive on Jan 20.

The second is a 46-year-old Malaysian work pass holder who works in sales at Toppan Merrill in Church Street. She also does not interact directly with clients. She lives with a 28-year-old finance employee at BS Industrial Construction & Supply who tested positive on Jan 20.

The third new case in the cluster is a 35-year-old permanent resident who also works in sales at BS Industrial Construction & Supply. He developed a sore throat on Jan 18 but did not seek medical treatment.

He was identified as a close contact by MOH but failed to report his symptoms to the ministry when contacted. He subsequently tested positive for the virus on Jan 20 while in quarantine.

The final community case is unlinked. He is a 42-year-old Singaporean who works as a diver at Ocean Works Asia.

He is asymptomatic and his infection was detected when he took a test as part of the requirement for shore-based personnel.

While he had recent travel history to Indonesia, it was long enough since his travel in December last year that MOH has classified his case as a local transmission.

There were also 34 imported cases for a total of 38 reported on Thursday, taking Singapore's total to 59,235.

They included a permanent resident, a dependant's pass holder, a long-term visit pass holder, two work pass holders, 26 work permit holders, a short-term visit pass holder and two special pass holders who are crew members of a ship.

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Of these, 33 had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore.

The remaining case, a permanent resident who was in Singapore for work purposes, tested negative for Covid-19 upon arrival in Singapore on Sunday, and was on a controlled itinerary during his stay here. He subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 infection on Wednesday.

In an update on the cluster involving a police para-veterinarian, the police confirmed that the remaining 94 officers who were working in the same location as him and an administrative officer who was infected have tested negative for the virus.

"The Singapore Police Force is assisting MOH with contact tracing efforts following the confirmation of the two officers who tested positive for Covid-19. SPF officers who were in close contact with both officers have been quarantined," they said in a response to queries from The Straits Times on Thursday night.

They added that most of the affected officers were administrative staff, and that the police K-9 unit remains operational.

With 33 cases discharged on Thursday, 58,944 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 43 patients remain in hospital, including one in the intensive care unit, while 204 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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