COVID-19: Singapore confirms 27 new cases, SIA pilot's prelim test shows UK strain

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Workers perform maintenance work on the dome of the Apple store at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Workers perform maintenance work on the dome of the Apple store at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the detection of 27 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of noon on Wednesday (30 December), taking the country’s total case count to 58,569.

Among the new cases, one is a locally-transmitted infection and the remaining 26 are imported, of whom 25 had been placed on Stay-Home Notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Of these cases, 22 are asymptomatic while the other five are symptomatic.

The sole community case is a Singapore permanent resident (PR) who works as a marine surveyor at Lloyd’s Register Singapore. His work entails working onboard vessels docked at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard.

He developed acute respiratory infection symptoms last Sunday, and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Monday where he was tested for COVID-19. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection the next day and was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

His serological test results have come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

He had not gone to work since onset of symptoms. His earlier tests from Rostered Routine Testing – the last being on 14 December – had been negative for COVID-19 infection.

Amongst the 26 imported cases, three are Singaporeans and four are Singapore PRs who returned from India, Indonesia, Portugal, UK, US and Switzerland. In addition, there are five work pass holders who arrived from the Philippines, India and UK. Another seven are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia, Myanmar and Indonesia, of whom six are foreign domestic workers.

Another three are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India. In addition, there is a student’s pass holder who arrived from Indonesia, a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India and a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Indonesia to visit her Singaporean spouse.

The remaining case is a special pass holder who is a crew member of a ship which arrived from Indonesia. He had not disembarked from the ship until he was conveyed to a hospital following a swab onboard.

Among the imported cases, two have tested preliminarily positive for the potentially more contagious UK coronavirus strain.

One of them is a Singaporean who works as a pilot with Singapore Airlines. He recently travelled to the UK for work from 19 December to 22 December. The other is a work pass holder who arrived from the UK on 7 December.

The MOH on 23 December confirmed Singapore’s first case infected with the B117 strain. It said then that 11 others have tested preliminarily positive for the strain.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 11 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 58,411 cases – or 99.7 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 52 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and none are in the intensive care unit.

A total of 77 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.

Singapore entered Phase 3 of reopening on Monday.

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