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Covid-19: Sengkang General Hospital nurse likely infected by B1617 virus variant; airport cluster grows to 26 cases

SINGAPORE — An operating theatre nurse who works at Sengkang General Hospital is the sole community case reported on Wednesday (May 12) that has no known source of infection yet. Nine other community cases were linked to confirmed cases reported previously.

A view of Sengkang General Hospital. A 33-year-old male nurse working there who was fully vaccinated developed Covid-19 symptoms over three days.

A view of Sengkang General Hospital. A 33-year-old male nurse working there who was fully vaccinated developed Covid-19 symptoms over three days.

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  • A Sengkang General Hospital nurse who has Covid-19 has no known links to past cases
  • Seven other community cases were linked to the Changi Airport cluster
  • A household contact of an infected Grab driver and a patient at Tan Tock Seng Hospital made up the rest of the community cases
  • There were six imported cases and none in foreign worker dormitories

 

SINGAPORE — An operating theatre nurse who works at Sengkang General Hospital is the sole community case reported on Wednesday (May 12) that has no known source of infection yet. Nine other community cases were linked to confirmed cases reported previously.

Preliminary tests showed that the male nurse has the B1617 India variant of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in an update on the coronavirus situation here.

The 33-year-old Filipino nurse, who was fully vaccinated, developed a runny nose on May 9, a cough the next day, and had fever, sore throat, shortness of breath and loss of taste on May 11.

He was tested for Covid-19 on May 10 as part of the hospital’s testing of its workers and his result came back positive the next day.

“His serology test result (for past infection) is positive,” MOH said.

CHANGI AIRPORT CLUSTER

Of the other nine community cases, seven were linked to an 88-year-old male cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3 who was confirmed to be infected on May 5.

They were:

  1. A 24-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Huawei Enterprise as an IT engineer and works at Changi Airport Terminal 4.

    He was at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on April 28 and May 3.

  2. A 39-year-old Singaporean man who works as an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

    He has tested positive preliminarily for the B1617 variant of the virus.

  3. A 38-year-old Singaporean woman who works as an ICA officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

    Early tests showed that she has the B1617 variant of the virus.

  4. A 62-year-old Singaporean man employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner and trolley handler at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

  5. A 28-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Certis Cisco as an aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

  6. A 65-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

    He did not see a doctor when he developed a runny nose on May 6.

    “He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests,” MOH said.

  7. A 42-year-old Singaporean man who works as a sales associate in a retail store at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

The cluster at Changi Airport has now grown to 26 people.

A 47-year-old man who works as a landscaper at National Parks Board has been traced back to this cluster as well, MOH said.

He was at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on May 3 and 4 and visited the same places as two other confirmed cases during their infectious period.

“He was likely to have been infected while he was at Changi Airport Terminal 3,” it said.

TWO OTHER COMMUNITY CASES

Apart from the Sengkang General Hospital nurse and the seven people from the Changi Airport cluster, one other new community case was from the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster.

She was a patient who was in Ward 9D of TTSH on April 26. The first confirmed case of the TTSH cluster was a 46-year-old nurse who works at Ward 9D and was confirmed infected on April 27. 

The 64-year-old patient was moved to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on April 28 and placed on quarantine on April 29.

She was tested for the virus on three occasions and the results were all negative.

She was then discharged on May 2 and continues to be on quarantine.

“She was tested for Covid-19 on May 11 during quarantine. Her test result came back positive on the same day. Her serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection,” MOH said.

The last community case reported on Wednesday was a 36-year-old Vietnamese woman. She is a household contact of a private-hire car driver with Grab who was confirmed infected on May 8.

A short-term visit pass holder, the woman arrived from Vietnam on April 12 and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until April 26.

She was then placed on quarantine on May 8 and tested for Covid-19 on May 10.

“Her test result came back positive for Covid-19 the next day. Her serology test result is negative,” MOH said.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has gone down from 62 in the week before to 49 in the past week.

The number of cases with no known links in the community has gone up from seven in the week before to 12 in the past week.

IMPORTED CASES

There were six new imported cases reported on Wednesday and all had been placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival here, MOH said.

They were:

  • A Singaporean and a permanent resident who returned from India

  • Three work pass holders who came from Malaysia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka

  • A work permit holder who arrived from the Philippines — she is a foreign domestic worker

MOH stressed that the imported cases who had arrived from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travellers from there were imposed recently.

UPDATE ON REMAINING CASES

The total number of infections in Singapore is now 61,419.

Of these, 61,006 people have fully recovered and been discharged, including 31 on Wednesday.

There are still 143 patients in hospitals. Of these, most are stable or improving, and three are in a critical condition.

Another 239 patients are isolated at community facilities. They have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still tested positive for Covid-19.

Thirty-one people have died from complications due to the disease.

Related topics

MOH Covid-19 coronavirus Changi Airport Sengkang General Hospital

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