Fully-vaccinated dorm resident among 8 local cases in Singapore infected with COVID variants

·Editorial Team
·7-min read
Office workers wearing protective face masks cross a street, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the central business district in Singapore January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Office workers wearing protective face masks cross a street, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in the central business district in Singapore on 11 January, 2021. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (22 April) confirmed eight local cases of two contagious COVID-19 variants.

The ministry said it detected one case of the South African and seven cases of the UK strains in Singapore as of Tuesday.

"All necessary public health actions have been taken promptly to isolate and ringfence these cases. While there had been transmission to members of the same household for three cases amongst these eight cases, there has not been any further community spread," added the MOH.

It also confirmed 342 imported cases with various strains: 46 of the Indian "double mutant" variant, 130 of the South African variant, five of the B.1.525 mutation, 155 cases of the UK variant, and six of several Brazilian strains – P.1, P.2 and P.3.

Here are what we know about the eight local cases:

(TABLE: MOH)
(TABLE: MOH)

South African variant, or B.1.351 

1. Case 61822

The 23-year-old male Indian national was detected when he was tested on 7 April as part of the rostered routine testing regime. His pooled test result came back positive the next day, and he was immediately isolated. 

An individual test was done on 9 April, and his test result came back positive the next day. He was subsequently conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). His earlier tests from the rostered routine testing – the last being on 24 March – were all negative.

He was confirmed as a case on 11 April and being infected with the South African variant on 22 April.

The work permit holder is employed by Seafront Support Company as a lashing specialist and resides in a dormitory at Brani Terminal Avenue. As he works in the marine industry, he was exposed to potentially infectious sources from ships visiting Singapore, said the MOH.

The man received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 25 January and the second dose on 17 February.

"This case is a reminder that it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected. But the vaccine is effective in preventing symptomatic disease for the vast majority of those vaccinated," the MOH had said.

UK variant, or B.1.1.7

1. Case 59028

The 24-year-old male Korean national tested positive for a pooled swab during rostered routine testing on 2 January and was tested again on 4 January. On the same day, he started to develop acute respiratory infection symptoms.

His individual test result came back positive for COVID-19 on 5 January, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID. He was confirmed by authorities as a case on 6 January and being infected with the UK variant on 26 January.

The man works at Azur at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport at 75 Airport Boulevard. His job entails delivering pre-packed meals to aircrew members and hotel guests. He does not interact with diners at Azur.

2. Case 59059

The 43-year-old Malaysian woman developed symptoms while at work on 3 January, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 5 January where she was tested for COVID-19.

Her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID. She was confirmed as a case on 7 January and being infected with the UK variant on 29 January.

The work permit holder works at Azur at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. She does not interact with diners at Azur.

3. Case 59084

The 20-year-old Singaporean man had been identified as a close contact of Case 59028 and was placed on quarantine on 5 January at a quarantine facility. He was confirmed as a case on 8 January and being infected with the UK variant on 29 January.

He developed acute respiratory infection symptoms on 7 January and was swabbed on the same day. His test came back positive for COVID-19 infection and he was conveyed to the NCID in an ambulance.

The man works at Azur at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Like his colleagues, he does not interact with diners at Azur.

4 & 5. Cases 59340 & 59351

One of them is a 39-year-old Singaporean man who developed a fever on 11 January, and sought medical treatment from a general practitioner via teleconsultation, and again at a polyclinic on 13 January where he was tested for COVID-19.

He was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 15 January and was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID.

He works at Singapore Scouts Association, handling mainly administrative work in the office. He is also a part-time bus driver with Westpoint Transit who plies specific routes for Cameron (Singapore) and GlaxoSmithKline Tuas.

The man’s wife, a 39-year-old Singaporean, developed acute respiratory infection symptoms on 13 January and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day. She was referred to a polyclinic to take a COVID-19 test on the same day. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 on 15 January and she was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID.

She works as an administrative officer at OCBC Tampines Centre One but does not interact with customers. 

Both husband and wife were confirmed as cases by authorities on 16 January and being infected with the UK variant on 26 January.

Epidemiological investigations had revealed that the Singaporean man and his wife visited Jewel Changi Airport on 31 December last year between 2.35pm and 9.50pm, while the Korean man (Case 59028) was at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on the same day between 7.48pm and 8.49pm.

6 & 7: Cases 60389 & 60439

One of them is a 43-year-old Singaporean man who had been identified as a close contact of his wife, a 41-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a cabin crew member with Singapore Airlines and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 9 February.

The man was placed on quarantine on 9 February. His swab taken on the same day was negative for COVID-19.

He developed anosmia on 15 February during quarantine but did not report his symptom. On 20 February, he developed a fever and self-medicated, again without informing the MOH of his symptoms. The next day, he was tested for COVID-19 as part of the protocol to test individuals during quarantine.

His test came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID.

He was confirmed as a case by authorities on 22 February and being infected with the UK variant on 22 April.

The other case is a 35-year-old Indonesian woman employed as a foreign domestic worker. 

She had been identified as the Singaporean woman's close contact and was placed on quarantine on 9 February. Her swab taken on the same day was negative for COVID-19, and she also tested negative for her serology test.

While she developed a cough on 20 February during quarantine, it was not reported to the MOH.

On 22 February, she was tested for COVID-19 and her result came back positive the next day. She was subsequently conveyed in an ambulance to the NCID.

She was confirmed as a case by authorities on 24 February and being infected with the UK variant on 22 April.

Authorities had said then that the Singaporean woman tested preliminarily positive for the UK strain and classified her as an imported case. She had departed Singapore on 30 January on a turnaround flight to the United Arab Emirates and returned on 31 January without disembarking from the aircraft at the overseas destination. 

Together, the three infections are part of the "case 60102" cluster, named after the Singaporean woman's case number.

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