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Covid-19: 8-year-old son of police dog unit’s personnel among 4 new community cases in Singapore

SINGAPORE — A student at Chua Chu Kang Primary School has tested positive for Covid-19. The eight-year-old is the son of an administrative officer at the Singapore Police Force's Dog Unit who had previously tested positive for the infection.

SINGAPORE — A student at Chua Chu Kang Primary School has tested positive for Covid-19. The eight-year-old is the son of an administrative officer at the Singapore Police Force's Dog Unit who had previously tested positive for the infection. 

However, there is no risk of transmission to the students he had contact with previously, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The family now has four members who are part of a cluster of infections linked to a para-veterinarian.

The boy and two other cases linked to a previous case made up three of the four Covid-19 cases in the community reported by MOH on Tuesday (Jan 19) in its evening update.

The fourth case has no known links to past infections yet.

MOH said that the eight-year-old boy had last gone to school on Jan 15.

He was placed on quarantine on Jan 16 following his father’s diagnosis, was swabbed that day, but his test result had come back negative.

On Jan 17, the boy’s mother and another family member tested positive for Covid-19.

That same day, he developed a fever while in quarantine and was tested again at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

"This time, his test came back positive for Covid-19 infection," MOH said, adding his serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

TWO CASES LINKED TO 33-YEAR-OLD MAN

The other two community cases reported on Tuesday are linked to a 33-year-old man, a food processing worker from Golden Bridge Foods Manufacturing.

One is the man’s wife and the other is his co-worker and housemate.

MOH said that the man’s wife is a 48-year-old Chinese national who works as a food processing worker at Soon Lee Heng Satay Foodstuff Manufacturer located along Woodlands Loop.

The work permit holder was placed on quarantine on Jan 15 and tested on Jan 17 even though she had no symptoms.

“Her result came back positive for Covid-19 the next day, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID),” MOH said, adding that hers is likely a current infection as her serological test result has also come back negative.

The other case linked to the man is a 31-year-old Chinese national who also works at Golden Bridge Foods Manufacturing.

The work permit holder who had no symptoms was similarly placed on quarantine on Jan 15, tested on Jan 17 and confirmed to be infected the next day. He was then taken to NCID.

He has a negative serological test result, indicating a likely current infection.

UNLINKED CASE

The fourth community case is a 39-year-old permanent resident who works as a sales personnel at BS Industrial and Construction Supply in Kallang.

The man developed a fever on Jan 16, sought medical treatment at a polyclinic on Jan 18 and was confirmed to be infected that day.

He was taken to NCID in an ambulance.

Investigations into the community cases are ongoing, the ministry added.

“In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family and household members, as well as co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases.”

IMPORTED CASES

There are 26 imported cases reported on Tuesday and they had already been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, MOH said.

They are:

  • Four Singaporeans and three permanent residents who returned from Indonesia, Ireland, Myanmar and the United Kingdom

  • Two student’s pass holders who arrived from Bulgaria and Malaysia

  • One work pass holder who came from the United Arab Emirates

  • Sixteen are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, of whom three are foreign domestic workers

MOH said that one of the work permit holders had arrived from Bangladesh on Dec 28 and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Jan 11.

The man’s swab done on Jan 8 was negative for the coronavirus, as did subsequent tests on Jan 12 and 14. 

A test on Jan 17, however, came back positive although the Ct value was very high. This is “indicative of a low viral load”, MOH said.

“His serological test result has also come back positive. Given that these indicate likely past infection, we have classified the case as imported. He is likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others,” it added.

One of the Singaporeans who returned home from Ireland had been placed on stay-home notice on Jan 3.

The 28-year-old woman tested negative for the virus on Jan 14 but she developed a dry throat later that day, as well as a cough on Jan 16.

However, she did not report her symptoms.

“Her stay-home notice ended on Jan 17, and on Jan 18, she sought medical treatment at the National University Hospital where she was tested for Covid-19. Her result came back positive on the same day,” MOH said.

The ministry is urging people who are unwell, including those showing early or mild symptoms, to be socially responsible and seek medical attention immediately.

UPDATES ON REMAINING CASES

The total number of infections in Singapore is now 59,157.

Of these, 58,894 people have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, including 26 on Tuesday.

There are still 45 patients in hospitals and most are in stable condition or improving. No one is in intensive care.

Another 189 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.

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