COVID-19: Singapore confirms 12 new cases including 3 RSAF servicemen on duty in France; 178 in total

·Editorial Team
·12-min read
A man, wearing a protective facemask amid fears about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walks past the Rain Vortex display at Jewel Changi Airport on 27 February, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)
A man, wearing a protective facemask amid fears about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walks past the Rain Vortex display at Jewel Changi Airport on 27 February, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (11 March) confirmed 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Singapore, including three Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) servicemen who were in France on official duty.

This brings the total of COVID-19 cases here to 178. The MOH also confirmed that one of the six cases announced on Tuesday is also an RSAF serviceman who was in France. In all, at least four RSAF servicemen are infected.

Of the 12 new cases, eight including the three RSAF servicemen are imported, a single-day high for such cases here.

The four remaining cases include one that is linked to the cluster involving the February 15 private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong and one that is linked to one of the eight imported cases.

Separately, the ministry said that three more cases have been discharged. They are:

  1. Case 92: A 47-year-old Singaporean man

  2. Case 106: A 54-year-old Japanese man who holds a Singapore work pass and is linked to Wizlearn Technologies

  3. Case 148: A 67-year-old Singaporean woman, who had been in Indonesia from 11 to 14 February, and is linked to the function at SAFRA Jurong

The addition brings the total of those who have fully recovered and have been discharged to 96, over half of the confirmed cases here. Nine are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, down from 12 on Tuesday.

The MOH added that contact tracing is underway for 10 locally transmitted cases – out of over 100 – with no established links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions.

Cases 169, 173, 175: RSAF servicemen on duty in France (imported)

The trio, who had been in Marseille, France, from 15 February to 7 March, for official duty have been identified by the MOH as contacts among themselves and a fourth RSAF serviceman who was confirmed as case 165 on Tuesday.

All three had not gone to work since returning to Singapore.

Case 169 is a 40-year-old Singaporean man who reported developing symptoms on Monday.

The Yishun Street 81 resident went to the emergency department of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) the next day and tested positive for the virus on the same afternoon.

He is currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital. Prior to his admission, he had gone to the Health Promotion Board for an unrelated matter.

Cases 173 and 175 – Singaporean men aged 31 and 44 respectively – tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning. They are currently warded in isolations room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Wednesday said that two other RSAF servicemen on the same duty as the affected servicemen have also returned to Singapore and are currently well. They have been placed on home quarantine as they were close contacts, it added.

“The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) had already reduced its overseas training deployments and exercises in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, and will continue to adjust such activities where necessary depending on the conditions within the host country,” said Mindef.

“All SAF personnel, both locally and abroad, have been instructed to take precautionary measures which include social distancing to mitigate the risk of infection."

Cases 167, 178: Filipino nationals from same family (1 imported)

Case 178 is a 37-year-old Filipino man with a Singapore work pass. He had been in the Philippines from 11 to 19 February, and again from 23 February to 2 March to visit a relative with pneumonia who has since passed on.

He tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH).

Case 167 is a 35-year-old Filipino woman with a Singapore work pass and a family member of the 37-year-old man. She had been in the Philippines from 11 to 17 February.

The woman reported developing symptoms on Sunday and had sought treatment at the NTFGH, where she is employed as a staff nurse, the next day.

She tested positive for the virus on Tuesday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital. Prior to her admission, the Jurong East Street 21 resident had been at work.

Case 170: Indonesian woman who arrived in S’pore (imported)

The 56-year-old Indonesian woman had arrived in Singapore on Monday and is a family member of case 152, a 65-year-old male compatriot who arrived here two days earlier.

She reported developing symptoms on 6 March while in Indonesia and visited at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Monday after her arrival here. She tested positive for the virus on Tuesday afternoon.

She is currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital.

Case 171: Singaporean man who was in France, Spain (imported)

The 27-year-old Singaporean man had been in France from 25 February to 1 March, and Spain from 1 to 6 March. He tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 176: British woman who was in Japan, UK (imported)

The 37-year-old female British woman had been in Japan from 24 February to 4 March, and the UK from 4 to 8 March. She tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning, and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 177: Singaporean man who was in US, UK, France (imported)

The 26-year-old Singaporean man had been in the United States from 14 to 24 February, the UK from 28 February to 1 March, and France from 2 to 7 March.

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

Case 174: 67-year-old Singaporean woman linked to SAFRA Jurong dinner function

The 67-year-old Singaporean woman is the 40th case linked to the SAFRA Jurong dinner function, the largest cluster here.

The woman, who had not travelled recently to affected countries and regions, tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning. She is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Cases 168, 172: Singaporean man, Filipino woman with no established links

The 47-year-old Singaporean man (case 168), who had not travelled recently to affected countries and regions, reported developing symptoms on 1 March.

He had sought treatment at two general practitioner clinics on 2, 5 and 8 March. He was later referred to the emergency department of the Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) on 8 March.

He tested positive for the virus on Tuesday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital. Prior to his admission, he had mostly stayed at his home at Rivervale Street.

The 42-year-old Filipino woman (case 172), who holds a Singapore work pass, had been in her home country from 27 February to 2 March.

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

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

Updates on cases 164-166: 1 RSAF serviceman on duty in France + Two linked to SAFRA Jurong

The ministry provided further details on three of six cases announced on Tuesday, including an RSAF serviceman, one of four who were on official duty in France, and two cases linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster.

The 30-year-old RSAF serviceman (case 165) reported developing symptoms on Monday and visited the NCID on the same day. The Singaporean tested positive for the virus on Tuesday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Like the other three infected RSAF servicemen, the Jalan Mulia resident had not gone to work since returning to Singapore.

Cases 164 and 166, a 57-year-old female Singapore permanent resident and a 55-year-old Singaporean woman respectively, are linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster and have visited Malaysia on separate occasions.

The 57-year-old PR, who had visited Malaysia from 20 to 23 February, reported developing symptoms on Sunday. She had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Sunday and Monday.

She was conveyed by ambulance to the NCID on Monday and tested positive for the virus the next morning. Prior to her hospital admission, she mostly stayed at her home at Jurong West Street 93.

The 55-year-old Singaporean, who had visited Malaysia on 3 and 7 March, reported developing symptoms on 4 March.

She had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 4 March and Monday. She visited the emergency department of the NTFGH on Monday. She tested positive for the virus the next morning.

Prior to her hospital admission, the Bukit Panjang Road resident had gone to work at Samwoh Corporation at 25E Sungei Kadut Street 1.

MOH confirms three cases linked to rock climbing gym

The MOH also confirmed and identified three cases – 142, 162 and 163 – that are linked to Boulder+, located on the third floor of Aperia Mall at 12 Kallang Avenue.

The rock climbing gym had on Tuesday noon confirmed on its Facebook page that three cases were linked to its facility.

Another climbing facility, Climb Central, had later on the same night announced that a climber who had visited its Funan Mall outlet on Sunday had been confirmed as a COVID-19 case. It is unclear whether the case is among the three cases at Boulder+.

Case 142 is a 26-year-old Singaporean man who had visited Aperia Mall and worked at First Page Digital Singapore at 144 Robinson Road prior to his admission into hospital.

He is a family member of cases 139 and 140, a 71-year-old Singaporean man and a 62-year-old Singaporean woman, respectively. All four cases did not travel recently to affected countries or regions and are linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster.

The man had reported developing symptoms last Thursday and went to the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital the next day. The Jurong West Street 81 resident tested positive for the virus on Saturday afternoon.

Case 162 is a 28-year-old Singaporean man who had been in Indonesia from 29 February to 2 March. He reported developing symptoms on 7 March and tested positive for the virus two days later.

Prior to his hospital admission, the Kim Tian Road resident had visited a shop at 26 Jalan Membina.

Case 163 is a 27-year-old Singaporean woman who visited Funan Mall as well as the PUB Recreation Club at 48 Woodleigh Park prior to her admission into hospital.

The Redhill Road resident reported developing symptoms on Sunday. She was referred by the ministry to the NCID the next day and tested positive for the virus in the afternoon.

Most of 82 remaining patients stable; 981 currently quarantined

Most of the 82 remaining patients in the hospital are stable or improving, while nine are in the intensive care unit, added the ministry

As of Wednesday noon, the ministry has identified 4,218 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 981 are currently quarantined, and 3,237 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

Declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 119 territories beyond mainland China.

To date, the virus has left more than 3,100 people in China dead and sickened over 119,000 globally. Over 1,200 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China.

At over 10,000 patients including 631 deaths, Italy has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as the most deaths outside mainland China.

Iran has the third-highest number with 9,000 cases including 354 deaths, while South Korea has the fourth highest number with 7,755 cases including 61 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 have been allowed to disembark it last month.

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.

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.

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