Coronavirus: 7 new confirmed cases including taxi driver and private hire car driver, total at 40

People seen wearing face masks at Changi Airport's Terminal 3 on 6 February 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health on Saturday (8 February) confirmed seven new cases of the novel coronavirus infection, the highest reported in a single day to date.

Of these, five are linked to previously announced cases.

There is a possible cluster involving one of the new cases and four previously announced cases, including a married couple from Wuhan, all linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore at 146B Paya Lebar Road.

Among the new confirmed cases are a taxi driver and a private hire car driver.

MOH is working with the Ministry of Transport to reach out to all taxi and private hire car drivers on the steps they should take to protect themselves in the course of their work. 

For the general public, the risk of infection from transient contact, such as on public transport or in public places, is assessed to be low.

Nine of the confirmed cases including two of the new cases are linked to the cluster associated with complementary health products shop Yong Thai Hang at 24 Cavan Road.

Three of the confirmed cases including two of the new cases are linked to the private business meeting held at Grand Hyatt Singapore from 20 to 22 January.

Investigations on these clusters are ongoing.

Contact tracing is underway for the other four locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China.

Case 34 

One of the new cases, a 40-year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to China, is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

She reported onset of symptoms on 27 January, and had visited two general practitioner (GP) clinics on 27 January and 1 February respectively. 

As she works at Yong Thai Hang, she was identified as a close contact of Cases 19 and 20, and placed under home quarantine on Tuesday. She was admitted to NCID on Thursday, and subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had gone to work at Yong Thai Hang, and stays at Sin Ming Road.

Case 35

He is a 64-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China and is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

He reported onset of symptoms on 30 January, and had visited Bukit Merah Polyclinic on 31 January. He was admitted to SGH on Thursday. Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, he worked as a taxi driver and had largely stayed at his home at Henderson Crescent after onset of symptoms, except to visit Redhill Market and a hawker centre at Bukit Merah for meals.

Case 36

She is a 38-year-old female Singapore permanent resident with no recent travel history to China but had been in Johor Bahru from 25 to 28 January. She is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

She reported onset of symptoms on 24 January, and had visited a GP clinic on 1 February. She was isolated and admitted to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Tuesday. Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had attended the same private business meeting as Cases 30 and 39 at Grand Hyatt Singapore from 20 to 22 January, and visited a family member at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH). She stays at Bukit Batok Street 31.

Case 37 

He is a 53-year-old Singaporean with no recent travel history to China and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

He reported onset of symptoms on 30 January, and had visited two GP clinics on 1 February and 3 February respectively. He was admitted to NTFGH on Thursday, and transferred to NCID on Saturday. Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, he worked as a private hire car driver and stays at Jurong East Street 32.

Case 38 

She is a 52-year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to China and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

She reported onset of symptoms on Monday and visited Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic on Tuesday. She was admitted to NCID on Friday. Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Saturday morning.

Prior to hospital admission, she had visited The Life Church and Missions Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown and Plaza Singapura and had travelled by public transport. She stays at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.

Case 39

He  is a 51 year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China, but who had travelled to Malaysia from 23 January to 2 February. He is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

He reported onset of symptoms on 29 January, and had visited two GP clinics on Monday and Wednesday respectively. He was admitted to NCID on Thursday.

Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Saturday morning.

Prior to hospital admission, he had attended the same private business meeting as Cases 30 and 36 at Grand Hyatt Singapore from 20 to 22 January, and stays at Jurong West Central.

Case 40 

He is a 36-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

He reported onset of symptoms on 30 January, and had visited a GP clinic on the same day. As he works at Yong Thai Hang, he was identified as a close contact of Cases 19 and 20, and placed under home quarantine on Tuesday.

He was admitted to NCID on Friday. Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Saturday morning.

Prior to hospital admission, he went to work at Yong Thai Hang and stays at Bedok North Street.

Among the confirmed cases, two have been discharged. Of the remaining 38, most are stable or improving. 

Four are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, and one requires additional oxygen support.

As of Saturday, 12pm, apart from the 40 confirmed cases to date, 438 of the suspect cases have tested negative while test results for the remaining 181 cases are pending.

MOH has identified 758 close contacts. Of the 663 who are still in Singapore, 647 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated. Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining 16 close contacts.

The coronavirus – which has been declared a global emergency by the WHO – has spread to 27 territories beyond mainland China, sickening over 34,000 people worldwide.

China's death toll from the epidemic soared to over 720 on Saturday, inching close to the total fatalities globally from the SARS outbreak. Among them is a US citizen whose death in the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, was confirmed by the US embassy on Saturday.

Two territories, Hong Kong and the Philippines, have each reported the death of a patient from the virus.

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