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Covid-19: ICA officer who tested positive was in charge of clearing Changi Airport’s inbound travellers; 32 others quarantined

SINGAPORE — The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer who tested positive for Covid-19 on April 27 is a deputy team leader at Changi Airport who was deployed to process the arrival clearance of travellers at Terminal 1, the authority said. Another 32 officers deployed at the airport have since been placed on quarantine order.

Covid-19: ICA officer who tested positive was in charge of clearing Changi Airport’s inbound travellers; 32 others quarantined
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SINGAPORE — The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer who tested positive for Covid-19 on April 27 is a deputy team leader at Changi Airport who was deployed to process the arrival clearance of travellers at Terminal 1, the authority said. Another 32 officers deployed at the airport have since been placed on quarantine order.

About 100 other officers who were deployed at Terminal 1 will be tested for Covid-19 “as a precaution”, ICA said in a media statement on Thursday (April 29), adding that it is assisting the Ministry of Health (MOH) with its contact-tracing efforts.

A day before, MOH identified the 38-year-old ICA officer as one of the three community cases that day. On Thursday, it said that seven of his family members have also been infected.

The man is now warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. 

“He had earlier registered to be vaccinated, but was advised by the doctor that he was not eligible due to his drug allergy,” ICA said.

The officer last reported for duty on April 22 when he went for a routine testing of workers. He tested negative for the virus then.

He did not report to work on April 23 as it was his day off, but he developed a cough at home and sought medical attention at a general practitioner clinic on April 24. He was given two days of medical leave until April 25, with April 26 being his day off.

On April 26, the man developed a fever, anosmia (partial or complete loss of the sense of smell) and body aches, so he sought medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day.

DISINFECTING AREAS

ICA said that it is working with the Changi Airport Group to ensure that the common and staff areas that the officer would have come into contact with have been disinfected thoroughly in accordance with National Environment Agency’s guidelines for environmental cleaning and disinfection of areas exposed to confirmed cases of Covid-19.

“This included areas such as the immigration counters, immigration offices, pantries and toilets.

“ICA is closely monitoring the condition of the affected officer as well as the health status of ICA officers deployed at Changi Airport,” it said.

It added that the majority of the jobs in ICA are at the frontline, so its officers have to be rostered for frontline deployment “regardless of whether they are vaccinated”.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in January last year, ICA said that it has implemented precautionary measures at the checkpoints and has been constantly reviewing these measures as the situation evolves.

These measures are developed in consultation with MOH, such as the appropriate protective gears that officers have to wear based on the nature of their tasks or jobs, safe management measures, and frequent cleaning of the checkpoint premises and immigration clearance counters.

Officers are also subjected to a regular routine testing regime and ICA will continue to review and update its safety measures in accordance with MOH guidelines, it said.

“Since Jan 2021, ICA officers who are medically eligible have been strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their colleagues.

"As of April 1, 92 per cent of ICA officers deployed at Changi Airport have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine,” the authority added.

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Covid-19 coronavirus ICA Changi Airport Terminal 1

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