Foreign domestic worker is sole community case among 8 new COVID infections in S'pore

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4 min read
A medical worker prepares a syringe at a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Singapore.
A medical worker prepares a syringe at a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed eight new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Thursday (11 March), taking the country's total case count to 60,070.

There is one new case of locally-transmitted infection in the community, while the remaining seven are imported.

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

The sole community case on Thursday, who is currently unlinked, is a 37-year-old Indonesian woman who is a foreign domestic worker.

She arrived in Singapore on 20 January and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until 3 February.

Her swab done on 2 February during the notice was negative for COVID-19 and her COVID-19 pre-departure test taken in Indonesia on 18 January was also negative.

The woman was detected when she tested positive on 9 March and was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. Her serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection.

She was tested as part of the MOH’s investigation into a 35-year-old compatriot and fellow foreign domestic worker who had tested positive for COVID-19 on 4 March, said the ministry. The younger woman later tested negative on an additional test taken by the National Public Health Laboratory on 5 March and tested positive on her serological test, which indicates a likely past infection.

"However as we are unable to definitively confirm (the 37-year-old's) date of infection, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," said the MOH.

As an added precaution, the ministry added it tested all attendees of the settling-in programme for foreign domestic workers on 4 February which both women attended, even though they were not close contacts.

Based on epidemiological investigations, both of them are likely to have been separately infected earlier and there is currently no evidence that they are linked, it said.

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Amongst the seven imported cases, one is a 30-year-old Singaporean man – Thursday's sole symptomatic case – who returned from Qatar. Two others are a student’s pass holder and a long-term visit pass holder who both arrived from India.

The four remaining cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.

All seven imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from three in the week before to two in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at two per week in the past two weeks.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 28 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 59,939 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 21 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, with one of them in the intensive care unit.

A total of 81 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 72 confirmed cases reported from 5 to 11 March, 35 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 28 have tested negative, and nine serology test results are pending.

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