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Initial Covid-19 test shows SIA cabin crew member infected with more contagious British virus variant

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean woman who works as a cabin crew with Singapore Airlines was one of 11 imported cases of Covid-19 reported on Tuesday (Feb 9). A preliminary test showed that the 41-year-old woman has the more contagious British variant of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Initial Covid-19 test shows SIA cabin crew member infected with more contagious British virus variant

Singapore Airlines crew members and travellers walk along the transit hall of Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on Jan 14, 2021.

  • A 41-year-old Singapore Airlines flight stewardess has tested postive for Covid-19
  • She returned to Singapore on Feb 1 after a turnaround flight to the United Arab Emirates
  • Four passengers on the same flight are also preliminarily positive for the British strain of the virus

 

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean woman who works as a cabin crew with Singapore Airlines was one of 11 imported cases of Covid-19 reported on Tuesday (Feb 9). 

A preliminary test showed that the 41-year-old woman has the more contagious British variant of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Besides the woman, four other passengers on the same flight have tested positive for Covid-19 and are preliminarily positive for the B117 strain as well.

In its update of the coronavirus situation here, MOH said that the woman had departed from Singapore on Jan 30 on a turnaround flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and returned on Feb 1 without disembarking from the aircraft at the overseas destination.

She developed anosmia — a partial or complete loss of the sense of smell — on Feb 4 but did not seek medical attention.

She was then tested for the coronavirus on Sunday as part of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s requirement for air crew to be tested following their return from overseas, MOH said.

Her pooled test result came back positive for Covid-19 on Monday, and she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for an individual swab and was isolated.

She then tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

MOH said that the woman’s previous test on Jan 22 following another turnaround flight was negative for the virus.

“Her serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. She has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests.” 

MOH added: “In view of her recent travel history, and the possibility that she might have been infected onboard the flight, we have preliminarily classified this case as imported.” 

The woman had received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Feb 2.

“As the vaccine does not contain live virus, she could not have been infected due to vaccination. It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination,” MOH said.

There were no new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection reported on Tuesday.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has gone up from three in the week before to four in the past week.

The number of cases with no known links in the community has also increased from two in the week before to four in the past week.

IMPORTED CASES

There were 10 other imported cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday besides the cabin crew member and all had been placed on stay-home notices upon their arrival here.

They are:

  • Two Singaporeans who returned from the UAE

  • One dependant’s pass holder who arrived from India

  • Three student's pass holders who came from India, Indonesia and Russia

  • Three work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines — they are all foreign domestic workers

  • Two short-term visit pass holders. One of them had arrived from Indonesia to visit her Singaporean spouse, while the other had arrived from Bangladesh as a caregiver to her spouse who was already receiving medical care here

UPDATE ON REMAINING CASES

The total number of infections in Singapore is now 59,732.

Of these, 59,506 people have fully recovered and been discharged, including 22 on Tuesday.

There are 40 patients in hospitals, including one who is in intensive care.

Another 157 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.

Related topics

MOH Covid-19 coronavirus community cases B117

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