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Covid-19: Singapore detects first 2 Omicron infections; imported cases arrived on SIA flight from Johannesburg

SINGAPORE — Two imported cases of Covid-19 in Singapore have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant of concern, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Dec 2). They are the first Covid-19 cases detected here that are infected by the new coronavirus strain.

The Ministry of Health said that two people who arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa on Dec 1, 2021 on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ479 have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The Ministry of Health said that two people who arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa on Dec 1, 2021 on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ479 have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant.

SINGAPORE — Two imported cases of Covid-19 in Singapore have tested positive preliminarily for the Omicron variant of concern, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday (Dec 2). They are the first Covid-19 cases detected here that are infected by the new coronavirus strain.

MOH said in its statement that the two people both arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ479 and tested positive preliminarily for the Omicron variant the next day.

The ministry stressed that the two patients 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,” it said.

The two are now recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Both are fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms of cough and scratchy throat, MOH said.

They 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
  • 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

MOH said that the two had undergone a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon their arrival here and were immediately taken to a stay-home notice dedicated facility to be isolated while they waited for their test results.

They were then taken to NCID upon confirmation of infection.

The PCR test results of the two people 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

Contact tracing is ongoing for people who were in contact with the two cases.

“All 19 other passengers who came in on the same flight have tested negative for Covid-19,” MOH said.

“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 stay-home notice 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 will undergo PCR tests at the start and end of their quarantine.

Those who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant will be taken to NCID for isolation and clinical management.

Earlier in the week, 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.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Omicron MOH travel SIA NCID

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