COVID-19: Singapore confirms 33 new cases, cargo operator among them

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
People relaxing at a beach at East Coast Park in Singapore.
People relaxing at a beach at East Coast Park in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the detection of 33 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (7 January), taking the country’s total case count to 58,813.

There are two new cases of locally-transmitted infection and 31 imported cases. Of the new cases, 30 are asymptomatic and the remaining three are symptomatic.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from seven cases in the week before to nine cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from three cases in the week before to six cases in the past week.

Of the two community cases, one is a 43-year-old Malaysian woman, who is a work permit holder working at Azur, a food & beverage business at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Following the discovery of her infection on Wednesday, and another Azur staff, a 24-year-old male Korean national, who was confirmed to have COVID-19 a day earlier, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport will be closed for two weeks from Friday.

The Malaysian woman developed symptoms while at work on last Sunday, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Tuesday where she was tested for COVID-19. Her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Her serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. Preliminary investigations reveal that she is probably not infected with the potentially more contagious B117 strain.

The other community case is a 63-year-old Singaporean man who works as a cargo operator at AirMark Aviation, and is based at Dnata Cargo Centre. He mainly handles loading and unloading of cargo for My Indo Airlines, and does not interact with flight passengers.

He developed acute respiratory infection symptoms on Monday, and sought treatment at Changi General Hospital on Wednesday. He was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 infection on the same day, and was warded. His serological test result is pending.

Of the 31 imported cases,

• four are Singaporeans and three are Singapore permanent residents who returned from India, Indonesia, UAE, US and UK.

• three are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India.

• two are work ass holders who arrived from India and UAE.

• 19 are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Myanmar, of whom 12 are foreign domestic workers.

All cases, except a 48-year-old Bangladeshi man, who is a work permit holder, had been placed on SHN upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving SHN. He arrived from Bangladesh on 22 December but could not clear immigration due to incomplete documentation. He was held at a facility located at the airport’s transit area until 24 December, when the issues were resolved, and subsequently conveyed to a dedicated SHN facility.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 21 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 58,562 cases – or 99.6 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 61 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 161 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

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