Third cluster emerges amid rise in community cases

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the community increased to 18 in the past week, from four in the week before, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Wednesday night.

The ministry also reported a new local coronavirus cluster - the third discovered in recent weeks - after three of the four community cases were linked to a previous case.

The three cases were linked to the case of a 39-year-old permanent resident who works in sales at BS Industrial and Construction Supply in Kallang. He tested positive for the virus on Monday.

All of them are his co-workers, and MOH said that investigations are ongoing to assess if there was a breach of safe management measures in their workplace.

Two of the three did not seek medical attention after developing symptoms. The first linked case is a 27-year-old Malaysian work pass holder who works in sales at BS Industrial and Construction Supply.

He developed a sore throat on Jan 14 but did not seek medical treatment and continued to go to work. He was contacted by MOH on Monday after being identified as a close contact of the original case, and tested positive for the coronavirus infection on Tuesday..

The second case is a Malaysian national, 29, who is also a work pass holder and works in sales at the same company. She developed a sore throat and difficulties in breathing on Jan 16 but continued to go to work and interact with the community, said MOH. She also tested positive after being identified as a close contact of the original case.

The final linked case is a 28-year-old Malaysian work pass holder, employed in finance in the same company. She developed a cough on Tuesday when she was placed in quarantine, and subsequently tested positive for the virus.

MOH emphasised the need for early medical treatment in stopping the spread of infection. "Those who are unwell, including those showing early or mild symptoms, should be socially responsible and seek medical attention immediately and stay at home to prevent the spread of illness to others," it said in the statement.

The fourth community case, a Indian national and work pass holder, 46, is a software engineer at Apar Technologies in Shenton Way.

His travel history from the past year includes India and the United Arab Emirates, and he served a stay-home notice on return to Singapore until Nov 27. His swab test on Nov 23 during his quarantine was negative for coronavirus. He is asymptomatic and his infection was detected when he took a pre-departure test on Jan 19 in preparation for a trip back to India.

There were also 36 imported cases reported on Wednesday.

The Straits Times


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