April 30, 2021

New Covid-19 cluster involves 7 family members of infected ICA officer who met over meal

By brit

SINGAPORE – Seven family members of a 38-year-old Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer who was earlier diagnosed with Covid-19 are confirmed to have the virus, and were likely to have caught it during a gathering last Sunday (April 25).

The Health Ministry (MOH) gave this update on Thursday night, adding that all seven had already been placed under quarantine when their diagnosis was confirmed.

The eight family members had gathered for a meal, when transmission was likely to have taken place, MOH said.

The ICA officer, who works in Changi Airport Terminal 1, had been one of the unlinked cases that the ministry announced on Wednesday.

The seven cases in the new family cluster, all of them Singaporean, are:

– A 32-year-old nurse who works at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). She is the wife of the ICA officer, but does not work in wards affected by the TTSH cluster. MOH said its investigations do not show a link between her and the TTSH cluster, but the ongoing testing of all staff in the hospital’s wards will serve as an additional check.

– A 39-year-old male who works as a private hire driver and a security officer at the Ion Orchard mall. He developed a cough on April 28.

– A three-year-old boy, who is the nephew of the ICA officer. He was last at school on April 22, and developed a fever on April 28.

– A housewife, 33, who was asymptomatic.

– A retiree, 72, who is the father of the ICA officer and lives in the same household. He was asymptomatic.

– A 65-year-old man who works as a telephone operator at Goodwood Park Hotel. He was asymptomatic.

– A technical officer at SP PowerGrid, 38. He developed a cough and body aches on April 28.

The ICA officer had developed a cough last Friday and sought medical treatment the next day at a general practitioner clinic, where he was given two days’ medical leave.

On Monday, he developed a fever, anosmia and body aches, and sought medical treatment at TTSH.

He was tested for Covid-19, and his test came back positive on the same day. But previous tests from rostered routine testing – the most recent being last Friday – had been negative.

Meanwhile, ICA has said that 32 of its officers at Changi Airport have been placed under quarantine order, while around 100 will be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution.

The seven family members of the 38-year-old ICA officer were among 16 community cases reported by the MOH on Thursday. This is the highest number of such cases since July 11 last year, when there were 24 community cases.

Eight of these 16 cases were linked to the 46-year-old TTSH nurse. These cases were detected through MOH’s proactive testing of patients and staff in the affected ward.

The sole unlinked case is a fully vaccinated 39-year-old Vietnamese woman, who works as a cleaner at a community care facility at Tuas South.

At work, she dons full personal protection equipment, including an N95 mask, face shield, gown and gloves, said MOH.

She also periodically helps out at a food stall at The Summit, a canteen at the National University of Singapore’s Bukit Timah campus.

The vaccine is effective in preventing symptomatic disease for the vast majority of those vaccinated, but it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected, MOH said.

She was asymptomatic, and was detected when she was tested on Monday as part of rostered routine testing, MOH said.

Her pooled test 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).

An individual test was done on Tuesday, and her test result came back positive for Covid-19 infection. Her earlier tests from the routine screening – the last being on April 14- were all negative for Covid-19 infection.

In all, 35 new coronavirus cases were confirmed as at Thursday noon, taking Singapore’s total to 61,121.

Other than the 16 community cases, there were 19 imported cases and none in the dormitories.


Related Stories: