Yale-NUS student, TTSH patient discharged to nursing home among 9 Covid-19 community cases in S'pore

The student had last attended classes on April 12, while TTSH has stopped all patient transfers to intermediate and long-term care facilities.
The student had last attended classes on April 12, while TTSH has stopped all patient transfers to intermediate and long-term care facilities.PHOTOS: ST FILE, JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - A student who is a resident on the Yale-NUS Campus was among nine community cases confirmed on Friday (April 30) by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

With the nine, MOH has announced 35 new community cases in the past week.

The student, a 20 year-old male Indian national, last attended classes on April 12.

He had been in India from March 21 last year to Jan 20 this year, and was a close contact of two confirmed Covid-19 cases while there.

He developed a fever, sore throat and body aches on Monday and isolated himself in his room.

He was tested for Covid-19 at the National University of Singapore's University Health Centre on Wednesday and his result came back positive on Thursday.

MOH said his CT (cycle threshold) was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load, and his serology test result has come back positive. This suggests he could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection which is no longer transmissible and infective to others, said MOH.

However, MOH said that as it is not able to definitively conclude when he had been infected, all necessary public health actions will be taken as a precautionary measure.

The eight other patients in the community are linked to previous cases.

Two of the cases, a 33-year-old female Indian national and her four-year-old daughter, are linked to an earlier case - a 34-year-old male Indian national who is a senior research fellow at NUS and was confirmed positive on April 15.

Another two are linked to a 39-year-old Vietnamese woman who works as a cleaner at a community care facility in Tuas South and was confirmed positive on Wednesday. One of them, a 41-year-old Malaysian man, works as a sales assistant at New Odense(s) Confectionery & Bakery in Woodlands, and is the Vietnamese woman's household contact, while the other, a 26-year-old female permanent resident, is both a household contact and a colleague of the woman.

The last four community cases are linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster, which now comprises 13 cases. One is a 41-year-old female Chinese national who works as a cleaner, and was deployed to the hospital's Ward 9D, where the cluster began.

Another case, a 77-year-old Singaporean woman, was admitted to Ward 9D on April 22. After being discharged to United Medicare Centre (Toa Payoh) Nursing Home on Tuesday, she was tested on Wednesday. Her test returned positive on the same day. The hospital has stopped all patient transfers to intermediate and long-term care facilities until swabs for patients and staff in lockdown wards are done and cleared.

It has also reminded facilities to be vigilant and closely monitor patients transferred from the hospital from April 18 onwards.

This includes segregating and isolating transfer patients from the rest of the residents, said MOH.

The third new patient in the hospital cluster is a 65-year-old Singaporean woman who is a patient in Ward 9C, while the last patient is a 36-year-old Singaporean male doctor at the National Neuroscience Institute, located within the hospital.

Meanwhile, 15 new imported cases were announced on Friday, while there were no new cases from within workers' dormitories.

The number of new cases in the community increased from 10 two weeks ago to 35 in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community in a week also increased from five cases to six over the same period.

With 13 cases discharged on Friday, 60,736 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 113 patients remain in hospital, with none in intensive care, while 251 are recuperating in community facilities.

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