10 new COVID cases in Singapore, 2 in community including Berries World tuition teacher

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5 min read
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test-kit at the Connect@Changi in Singapore.
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test-kit at the Connect@Changi in Singapore. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore on Thursday (25 February), taking the country's total case count to 59,900.

There are two new unlinked cases of locally-transmitted infection in the community, while the remaining eight are imported.

"Amongst the new cases today, eight are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while two were symptomatic," said the MOH.

One of the community cases is a 33-year-old Malaysian man who is a work permit holder employed by the PSA Corporation as a lashing specialist.

He arrived from Malaysia on 23 December last year and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until 6 January. His swab taken on 3 January during the notice was negative for COVID-19.

The man is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested on 21 February as part of rostered routine testing (RRT) regime. His pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day.

An individual test was done on 23 February, and he was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 24 February. He was subsequently conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 13 February – were negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result has come back positive but we have assessed that this is likely a current infection," said the MOH.

The man had received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on 22 January, and the second dose on 14 February, said the MOH.

This accounts for his positive serology test as he has likely started producing antibodies following vaccination, it added.

"However as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination, he was likely to have been infected before he was conferred protection after vaccination," the ministry said.

The second community case is a 27-year-old female permanent resident who works as a tuition teacher at a branch of Berries World of Learning School at 8 Yishun Avenue 9.

She developed a runny nose on 23 February after work and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day where she was tested for COVID-19 as part of the enhanced community testing to test all individuals aged 13 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at first presentation to a doctor.

The woman's test came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 25 February, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to Singapore General Hospital. Her serology test result is pending.

"As a precautionary measure, the Yishun branch of Berries World of Learning School will be closed until 28 February for cleaning and disinfection," said the MOH.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, while all the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period. Serological tests will also be conducted for the close contacts to determine if they could have infected the case.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from three in the week before to four in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one in the week before to two in the past week.

Separately, two places were added to the list of public venues visited by community cases while they are infectious: Raffles City Shopping Centre and Sembawang Mart's NTUC FairPrice outlet. They were visited on 14 February from 7.40pm to 8.25pm and on 21 February from 9.05pm tp 9.40pm, respectively.

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Amongst the eight imported cases, two are Singaporeans and two are PRs who returned from India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. A 43-year-old male PR who returned from Nepal and India is the other symptomatic case reported on Thursday.

Three others are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, all of whom are foreign domestic workers.

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her family member who is a PR here.

All imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving their notices,

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 24 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 59,785 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 16 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 70 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Amongst the 68 confirmed cases reported from 19 to 25 February, 44 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 15 have tested negative, and nine serology test results are pending.

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