Traveller from NZ who flew to S Korea possibly infected with COVID-19 during transit in Singapore

People wearing protective face masks exit a mall along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore, Friday, April 10, 2020. The Singapore government put in place "circuit breaker" measures in the light of a sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in recent days. Under the measures which will last through May 4, people have to stay home and step out only for essential tasks, such as going to work if they are in essential services, buying food and groceries, or for a short bout of exercise. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
People wearing protective face masks exit a mall along Orchard Road on 10 April 2020. (PHOTO: AP)

SINGAPORE — A traveller from New Zealand who flew to South Korea and later tested positive for COVID-19 may have been infected in Singapore.

According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, the individual left the country on 21 July and arrived in South Korea the next day after transiting through Singapore. The traveller had no symptoms but returned a positive test on arrival.

“South Korean authorities have informed us that based on their initial investigations they suspect the traveller was infected during the transit in Singapore airport,” said the ministry on Monday (27 July).

“However other causes, including infection in New Zealand, can’t be ruled out at this stage so the Ministry is in close contact with South Korea and is expecting further information from the authorities later today New Zealand time.”

On the same day, the ministry added that there were no new cases of COVID-19 to report. It has now been 87 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Zealand remains at 1206. There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

Yahoo News Singapore has sent queries to Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) on the matter.

On Monday, MOH reported a preliminary 469 new COVID-19 cases as of noon, taking the country’s total to 50,838.

Of the new cases, two – including one Singaporean – are classified as cases in the community, while 15 are imported cases. The remaining are foreign workers living in dorms.

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