Wife, family member of admin officer from Singapore police dog unit have Covid-19, didn’t see doctor when sick

In its update of the coronavirus situation in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said that the two newly diagnosed persons had symptoms but did not seek medical treatment. ― TODAY pic
In its update of the coronavirus situation in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said that the two newly diagnosed persons had symptoms but did not seek medical treatment. ― TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Jan 19 — The wife of an administrative officer at the Singapore Police Force's Dog Unit, as well as his family member, made up the two Covid-19 cases in the community yesterday.

They and the administrative officer are part of a growing cluster that earlier saw a para-veterinarian working with the police force being diagnosed with the disease.

In its update of the coronavirus situation in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said that the two newly diagnosed persons had symptoms but did not seek medical treatment.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the government’s Covid-19 task force, said in a Facebook post last night: “We are seeing more new infected cases in the community in recent days. 

“For the first time in several months we have a local cluster linked to a police para-vet. Unfortunately there were also several recent cases who did not seek medical treatment despite falling ill with flu-like symptoms.”

He urged everyone to cooperate with all the safety measures, to “wear your masks, see a doctor when sick, and do your part to reduce transmission risks”.

“The virus is still circulating silently within our community and we cannot afford to let our guard down,” he added.

Runny nose, diarrhoea, loss of taste

MoH said that the wife of the administrative officer, a 43-year-old Singaporean who is a homemaker, had developed a runny nose on January 10.

She then experienced a loss of taste, had sore throat and diarrhoea on January 12 but did not see a doctor.

She was contacted by MoH on January 16 after her husband’s Covid-19 diagnosis, and was tested for the coronavirus when she reported her symptoms.

The test result came back positive on January 17 and she was taken to the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“Her serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection,” MoH said.

The other family member of the admin officer is a 66-year-old Malaysian woman.

She is a long-term visit pass holder and has been residing in Singapore since January last year.

MoH said that she had developed acute respiratory infection symptoms and diarrhoea on January 9, and experienced a loss of taste on January 14, but did not see a doctor.

She was contacted by the ministry on January 16 as well, tested for the virus and was confirmed to have it the next day. She was then taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

MoH said: “Her serological test result has come back positive. Together with her Covid-19 symptoms, this indicates a likely recent infection with onset on January 9.”

Investigations are ongoing on how the disease spread among them.

All the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so as to detect asymptomatic cases, MoH added.

Wong said: “Our contact tracers are working hard to identify all the possible contacts, ring-fence the potential cases and prevent them from spreading further.  

“We are also monitoring the situation carefully and considering if additional measures are necessary to ensure the infection remains under control.”

MoH stressed: “We strongly urge everyone to do their part to reduce the risk of transmission. Those who are unwell, including those showing early or mild symptoms, should be socially responsible and seek medical attention immediately.”

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has gone up from eight in the week before to 10 in the past week.

The number of cases with no known links in the community has, however, gone down from five in the week before to four in the past week.

Imported cases

Apart from the two cases reported yesterday, there were 12 imported cases who had already been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, MoH said.

The 12 are:

― Two Singaporeans and four permanent residents who returned from India, Mexico, Pakistan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States

― One dependant’s pass holder who arrived from India

― One student’s pass holder who came from Czech Republic

― Four work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India and Malaysia

Updates on remaining cases

The total number of infections in Singapore is now 59,127.

Of these, 58,868 people have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, including 22 yesterday.

There are still 44 patients in hospitals and most are in stable condition or improving. No one is in intensive care.

Another 186 patients are isolated at community facilities. They have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still tested positive for Covid-19.

Twenty-nine people have died from complications due to the disease. ― TODAY

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