SINGAPORE, Dec 2 — Two imported cases of Covid-19 in Singapore have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant of concern, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said toda). They are the first Omicron infections detected here.
In a statement, MOH said that the two imported cases both arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa today on board flight SQ479 and tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant the next day.
The health ministry stressed that the two cases were isolated upon arrival in Singapore and had not interacted in the community.
“There is currently no evidence of any community transmission from these cases,” said MOH.
The two cases are currently recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
Both cases are fully vaccinated, and have mild symptoms of cough and scratchy throat, the ministry said.
The two cases are:
A 44-year-old male permanent resident who arrived in Singapore from Mozambique and had transited through Johannesburg. His pre-departure test in Mozambique on Nov 29 was negative for Covid-19 infection.
A 41-year-old Singaporean woman who arrived from South Africa on Dec 1. Her pre-departure test in Johannesburg on Nov 29 was negative for Covid-19 infection.
The health ministry said that the two positive cases had undergone a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon their arrival in Singapore, and were immediately taken to a stay-home notice (SHN) dedicated facility to be isolated while they wait for their test results.
They were then taken to the NCID upon confirmation of their Covid-19 infection.
The PCR test results of the two cases have revealed the presence of S-gene Target Failure which may be associated with the Omicron variant, MOH said. The National Public Health Laboratory is conducting whole genome sequencing to confirm the variant, it added.
Contact tracing ongoing
MOH today said that contact tracing is ongoing.
“All 19 other passengers who came in on the same flight have tested negative for Covid-19 infection,” said the ministry.
“These individuals were all quarantined under stay-home-notice at designated facilities upon arrival and are subjected to a testing regime which includes an on-arrival PCR test and a SHN exit PCR test.”
MOH added that other close contacts of the positive cases will be placed on a 10-day quarantine at designated facilities and undergo PCR tests at the start and end of their quarantine.
Those who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will be taken to the NCID for isolation and clinical management.
Earlier on Monday, MOH said that seven people on a transit flight from Johannesburg to Sydney in Australia that carried two travellers positive for the Covid-19 Omicron variant had disembarked in Singapore.
All seven of those people have since been quarantined. — TODAY