Household members of close contact of COVID-19 case to be isolated immediately: PM Lee

The TraceTogether app (left) and token (right). (PHOTOS: Getty Images / Reuters)
The TraceTogether app (left) and token (right). (PHOTOS: Getty Images / Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Household members of any person identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case will have to isolate themselves immediately, even if the person has not tested positive for COVID-19 yet.

These are part of more aggressive contact tracing measures announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was giving an update on the pandemic on Monday (31 May).

While contact tracers have been working faster and better due to their increased experience, skills and better tools, such as TraceTogether and SafeEntry, contact tracing can be further improved by casting the net wider, he said.

“Our experience has shown that if a close contact is infected, he is quite likely to infect others who stay with him in the same household.

“Therefore, in future, when we identify a close contact of an infected case. We will not only isolate him, himself – the first-degree contact – and test him for COVID-19. We will also notify his household members to isolate themselves immediately, without waiting to see whether the first degree contact tests positive.”

If the first degree contact were to test negative, his or her household members will be released from isolation, said Lee.

If the first-degree contact tests positive for the virus, precious time would have been saved by isolating his or her household members earlier, added Lee.

The “more aggressive approach” would help the authorities shut down clusters more quickly, he said.

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