Singaporean man is 3rd Covid-19 community case found among Crowne Plaza Changi Airport staff

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport has been closed for two weeks.
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport has been closed for two weeks.ST PHOTOS: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man who works at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport's Azur restaurant was among the two community cases linked to previous cases announced on Friday night (Jan 8).

There were also 21 imported cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), taking Singapore's total to 58,836.

The 20-year-old Singaporean is the third confirmed case at Azur.

He has tested preliminarily positive for the more infectious UK strain of Covid-19, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

Like the previous two cases at the hotel, he delivers pre-packed meals to air crew and hotel guests.

He does not interact with diners at Azur. His earlier tests from routine testing - the last being on Jan 1 - were negative for Covid-19.

He had been identified as a close contact of the Korean work permit holder, who was reported as a confirmed case on Wednesday and placed on quarantine on Jan 5 at a quarantine facility.

The Singaporean developed symptoms on Thursday, and was swabbed on the same day.

His test came back positive for Covid-19 and he was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance.

His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

MOH said that it is investigating the three Covid-19 cases who work at the hotel.

Special testing operations by the ministry has seen 233 hotel staff be swabbed so far.

Of these, 129 test results are negative and 104 test results are pending.

The second community case is a 34-year-old harbour pilot at PSA Marine and the fifth case to be linked to the Singaporean harbour pilot who was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Dec 30.

The Singaporean man was placed on quarantine on Jan 1 at a quarantine facility after being identified as a close contact.

His swab on Jan 3 was negative for Covid-19 but another test taken on Thursday came back positive for the infection.

He was then conveyed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital in an ambulance.

He developed symptoms on Friday and his serological test result is pending.

The imported cases comprise four Singaporeans, four permanent residents, one dependant's pass holder, one student's pass holder, two work pass holders, eight work permit holders and one short-term visit pass holder.

They tested positive while serving stay-home notices, or while in isolation after their arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

They travelled here from several countries, including India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Tampines Mall and Gochi-So Shokudo restaurant at Tampines 1 were also added to the list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, said the Health Ministry.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 10 cases in the week before to eight cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from four cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.

With 18 cases discharged on Friday, 58,565 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 61 patients remain in hospital, including one in the intensive care unit, while 166 are recuperating in community facilities.

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