COVID-19: 11 new cases in S'pore, 1 SIA crew member tests preliminarily positive for B117 strain

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4 min read
Pedestrians along Orchard Road in Singapore.
Pedestrians along Orchard Road in Singapore. (PHOTO: Zakaria Zainal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 11 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Tuesday (9 February), taking the country’s total case count to 59,732.

There are no new cases of locally-transmitted infections. All the new cases are imported – 10 asymptomatic and the remaining case was symptomatic.

Of the 11 imported cases, 10 had been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore.

The remaining case is a 41-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a cabin crew with Singapore Airlines. She departed Singapore on 30 January on a turnaround flight to the UAE, and returned on 1 February without disembarking from the aircraft at the overseas destination.

She developed anosmia on 4 February, but did not seek medical attention. On 7 February, she was tested for COVID-19 as part of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s requirement for air crew to be tested following their return from overseas.

Her pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 on Monday, and she was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for an individual swab, and isolated. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day.

Her previous test on 22 January following another turnaround flight was negative for COVID-19. 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.

The case received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on 2 February. 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.

Besides the woman, four passengers on the same flight have tested positive for COVID-19 infection, and are also preliminarily positive for the B117 strain. In view of her recent travel history, and the possibility that she might have been infected onboard the flight, the authorities have preliminarily classified this case as imported.

Of the remaining 10 imported cases,

• one is a Singaporean who returned from the UAE.

• one is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from India.

• three are student's pass holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and Russia.

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

• two are short-term visit pass holders. One arrived from Indonesia to visit her Singaporean spouse while the other arrived from Bangladesh as a caregiver to her spouse who was already receiving medical care in Singapore.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from three cases in the week before to four cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two cases in the week before to four cases in the past week.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 22 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 59,506 cases – or 99.6 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 40 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one in the intensive care unit.

A total of 157 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 148 confirmed cases reported from 3 February to 9 February, 86 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 28 have tested negative, and 34 serology test results are pending.

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