Singapore MOH investigating Covid-19 case for possible links to earlier Mandarin Orchard infections

There were 14 new cases of Covid-19 in Singapore yesterday, all of which were imported. — TODAY pic
There were 14 new cases of Covid-19 in Singapore yesterday, all of which were imported. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Dec 26 — One of the new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday was a Singaporean permanent resident who had served part of his stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel, which recently came under investigation by the Ministry of Health (MOH).MOH said in a statement that it is now investigating whether this latest case could be linked to the 13 other cases who were also under stay-home order at the hotel.

In all, there were 14 new cases of Covid-19 in Singapore yesterday, all of which were imported.

All had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

There were no new cases of locally transmitted coronavirus infection.

Among the new cases, 12 were asymptomatic and were detected from proactive screening and surveillance, while two were symptomatic.

Case at Mandarin Orchard

The permanent resident who was staying at Mandarin Orchard is a 47-year-old who arrived from the Philippines and began serving his stay-home notice on December 10.

He was moved to another dedicated facility on December 20 when MOH began an investigation into the 13 previously reported cases who had been at the hotel between October 22 and November 11. 

The man was swabbed on December 19 and 21 and his test results came back negative for Covid-19. 

As a precautionary measure, he was swabbed again when he completed his notice on December 24 and he went home following the test. 

His test result came back positive that night and he was taken to the hospital the next day. Investigations are ongoing to assess if he could be linked to the 13 cases. 

His serological test result to check for a past infection is pending.

Case from the UK

Another of the imported cases was a Singaporean who arrived from the UK on December 7 and served a 14-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until December 21. 

He was swabbed on December 17 and his test result was negative for Covid-19.

He developed a cough on December 23 and was tested positive at a hospital on the same day. His original sample was tested by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and was confirmed to be positive for Covid-19. 

However, a second sample taken on December 24 by NPHL came back negative for the virus. 

His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection, MOH said. 

He is therefore likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus ribonucleic acid (RNA), which are no longer transmissible and infective to others.

Other imported cases

Among the 14 imported cases, six are Singaporeans and two are permanent residents who returned from India, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and the UK.

One work pass holder and three work permit holders had arrived from Indonesia and India. The two remaining cases are dependent’s pass holders who arrived from India and the United States.

All of the imported cases had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving their notices or under isolation.

Update on confirmed cases

The total number of infections in Singapore now stands at 58,509.

Of these, 58,352 have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, including 20 yesterday.

There are 31 patients who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and no one is under intensive care. 

Another 97 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are people who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19. 

So far, 29 have died from complications due to Covid-19. — TODAY

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