COVID-19: Singapore confirms 10 new cases including six linked to SAFRA Jurong, total at 160

·Editorial team
·10-min read
A thermal scanning checkpoint manned by security personnel on 6 March, 2020, at the entrance to Gardens by the Bay's Cloud Forest as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak. (PHOTO: Reuters)
A thermal scanning checkpoint manned by security personnel on 6 March, 2020, at the entrance to Gardens by the Bay's Cloud Forest as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (9 March) confirmed 10 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Singapore, bringing the total to 160.

Of these, six are linked to a 15 February private dinner function held at SAFRA Jurong at 333 Boon Lay Way – the biggest COVID-19 cluster here to date with 36 cases.

One is linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore at 146B Paya Lebar Road and two are imported cases. The remaining one is likely to be imported, the ministry said.

Separately, the MOH said that three more cases have been discharged from the hospital on Monday. They are:

  1. Case 112: A 62-year-old Singaporean woman who works at Creative O Preschoolers’ Bay

  2. Case 138: A 26-year-old Singaporean man linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore cluster; tested positive on the same afternoon of the end of his quarantine order

  3. Case 151: A 51-year-old Singaporean man linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore cluster; attended Chinese New Year gathering at Mei Hwan Drive

The addition brings the total of those who have fully recovered and have been discharged to 93, over half of the confirmed cases here. Ten are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, up from nine on Sunday.

The MOH added that contact tracing is underway for 14 locally transmitted cases – out of over 100 – with no established links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China.

Case 151: Singaporean linked to CNY dinner, the Life Church and Missions Singapore

The 51-year-old Singaporean man, who has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions, is a contact of cases 66 and 91, a 28-year-old Singaporean man linked to the Grace Assembly of God and a 58-year-old Singaporean woman linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore respectively.

He is the 10th case linked to the Life Church and Missions Singapore. The church is linked to another 23 confirmed cases at the Grace Assembly of God via a Chinese New Year gathering held at Mei Hwan Drive on 25 January.

The man had been identified to have attended the Chinese New Year gathering and reported to have developed symptoms on 4 February.

The Yishun Ring Road resident later sought treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic the next day and on 13 February, and at Yishun Polyclinic on 8 and 13 February.

As he had been identified to have attended the gathering, he was referred by the MOH to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 22 February even though he had recovered by then.

Subsequent serological test results on Sunday afternoon confirmed that he had an earlier COVID-19 infection.

Case 152: 65-year-old Indonesian national (imported)

The 65-year-old male Indonesian national had arrived in Singapore on Saturday (7 March). He reported developing symptoms on 28 February while he was in Indonesia, and had sought treatment at a hospital in Jakarta on 2 March.

He went to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on the day he arrived, and is currently warded there in an insolation room. He tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon.

Case 153: 65-year-old Singaporean woman who was in Indonesia (likely imported)

The 65-year-old Singaporean woman had reported that she visited her sister who had pneumonia in Indonesia earlier last month. She was in Indonesia from 25 to 28 February.

The Jalan Teck Whye resident reported developing symptoms on 3 March and had sought treatment at Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic on the same day and on Saturday.

She visited the emergency department at the SGH on Saturday, and is currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital. She tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed home.

Case 154: 52-year-old British national (imported)

The 52-year-old male British national arrived in Singapore on 6 March. He tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 155: Malaysian linked to SAFRA Jurong dinner function

The 47-year-old Malaysian woman, who holds a Singapore work pass, had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions.

She is a contact of case 128, a 70-year-old Singaporean man also linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong.

She tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

She is one of six cases announced on Monday that are linked to a 15 February private dinner function held at SAFRA Jurong at 333 Boon Lay Way. The cluster is Singapore’s biggest to date with 36 confirmed cases.

Cases 156 & 157: PRs linked to SAFRA Jurong dinner function

Both Singapore permanent residents had not travelled recently to affected countries and regions.

The 50-year-old and 54-year-old women are currently warded in isolation rooms at the NCID.

The older woman tested positive for the virus on Monday morning. She is a contact of case 137, a 60-year-old male Singaporean man who had attended the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong.

Cases 158-160: Singaporeans linked to SAFRA Jurong dinner function

All three Singaporeans linked to this cluster had not travelled recently to affected countries and regions.

The 53-year-old woman, a 59-year-old man, and a five-year-old boy tested positive for the virus on Monday morning.

The woman and the man are currently warded in isolation rooms at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

The boy is currently warded in an isolation room at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. He is a family member of case 145, a 67-year-old Singaporean woman also linked to the SAFRA Jurong dinner function.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)
(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

Updates on cases 145-150: Five linked to SAFRA Jurong + 1 imported case

The ministry also provided further details on six of 12 cases announced on Sunday, including five linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster and one imported case.

Case 145, a 67-year-old Singaporean woman, had reported developing symptoms on 29 February, and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 3 and 6 March.

The Teck Whye Lane resident was referred to the NCID on Saturday (7 March) and tested positive for the virus the next morning. Prior to her hospital admission, she had visited a shop at 16 Teck Whye Lane.

Case 146, a 64-year-old Singaporean woman, had reported developing symptoms on 4 March, and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day.

She visited the NCID on Saturday and tested positive for the virus the next morning. Prior to her hospital admission, she mostly stayed at her home in the Yio Chu Kang Road area.

Case 147, a 64-year-old male Indonesian national who arrived here on Saturday, had reported developing symptoms on 3 March while he was in Indonesia.

The imported case had a fever when he arrived at Seletar Airport, and underwent a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint.

He was conveyed by ambulance to the NCID on the same night and tested positive for the virus the next morning. Prior to his hospitalisation, he mostly stayed at his rental apartment in the Oxley Road area.

Case 148, a 67-year-old female Singaporean woman who had been in Indonesia from 11 to 14 February, had reported developing symptoms on 24 February.

As she had been identified as a contact of case 107, a 68-year-old Singaporean woman linked to the Safra Jurong cluster and had also travelled to Indonesia, she was referred by the MOH to the NCID on 2 March.

The Jalan Lim Tai See resident tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning. Prior to her hospital admission, she had visited Marina Bay Sands Casino.

Case 149, a 62-year-old Singaporean man, reported developing symptoms on 23 February and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Saturday.

He was conveyed in an ambulance to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on the same day and tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Prior to his hospital admission, he had gone for singing classes at various community clubs and residents’ committees. He also visited Tong Whye Temple Senior Citizen Club at 306 Jurong East Street 32, near his place of residence.

Case 150, a 53-year-old female Singapore permanent resident, reported developing symptoms on 29 February.

As she had been identified to be a contact of cases 115 and 134 – two Singaporean women, aged 62 and 56, respectively, linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster – she was referred by the MOH to the NCID on Saturday. She tested positive for the virus the next morning.

Prior to her hospital admission, the Jurong West Street 64 resident had gone for singing classes and other activities at Nanyang Community Club.

Most remaining patients stable; 724 currently quarantined

Most of the 67 remaining patients in the hospital are stable or improving, while 10 are in the intensive care unit, said the MOH.

Separately, as of Monday noon, the ministry said that it has identified 3,784 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 724 are currently quarantined, and 3,060 have completed their quarantine.

It also reiterated its advice for Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province, home to Wuhan where the virus originated, and all non-essential travel to mainland China, Iran, northern Italy, Japan as well as South Korea.

COVID-19’s death toll surpasses SARS epidemic

The novel strain belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also started in China.

It likely originated from Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market, where live animals or products – such as foxes, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines, and camel meat – are sold.

Declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 110 territories beyond mainland China.

To date, the virus has left more than 3,100 people in China dead and sickened over 111,400 globally. Over 760 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China.

At 7,478 confirmed infections including 53 deaths, South Korea has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after mainland China. Italy has the third-highest number with 7,375 cases including 366 deaths – the most deaths outside mainland China. Iran has the fourth-highest number with 7,161 cases including 237 deaths.

The global tally also includes cruise ship Diamond Princess, moored off Japan, which accounted for 696 cases, including seven related deaths so far. Five Singaporeans who were on board the quarantined cruise ship were allowed to disembark it last month.

Patients suffering from the new strain may exhibit fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness – such as coughing or difficulty in breathing – as well as pneumonia-like symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

However, some who have died from it have not displayed symptoms of fever, according to details released by China’s National Health Commission, potentially complicating global efforts to check for infected travellers as they arrive at airports and other travel hubs.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)
(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

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