SINGAPORE — Of the new COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak cluster at SAFRA Jurong, some of the confirmed cases presented themselves “quite a number of days” after they developed symptoms of the virus.
This was revealed by Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) director of medical services, during a media conference on Friday evening (6 March).
He was responding to media queries on why the first few cases of the SAFRA Jurong cluster surfaced only in the last couple of days, when the dinner which the patients had attended occured back on 15 February.
A total of 17 confirmed cases are linked to the dinner – the second biggest COVID-19 cluster in Singapore after the 31 cases linked to two churches, The Life Church and Missions Singapore and the Grace Assembly of God.
“It depends on when they presented themselves (to be tested). In fact, a number of individuals presented themselves quite a number of days after they were symptomatic, and it's something that we have always had a concern about,” Mak said.
“In some of these instances, we've noticed that people might have some respiratory symptoms but they continued with their social activities, continued to go to work.
“That makes it even more challenging for us, because (their actions) exposed other people, who would otherwise have been well, to COVID-19 infection. It makes our task even more difficult when it comes to trying to identify whom the close contacts might be to isolate them and keep them under surveillance.”
Mak further urged the public not to mix around and continue with social and work activities if they are not feeling well.
“You have to see a doctor early, isolate and rest yourself at home as much as possible,” he said.
On Friday, Singapore saw 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, the biggest jump on a single day so far, bringing the total number of infections to 130 cases.
Of the new cases on Friday, nine are part of the cluster at SAFRA Jurong, adding to the four cases announced on Thursday. Another four earlier cases were also traced to the cluster.
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