Singapore Uncovers Small Covid Cluster, First Since March 25

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Singapore’s latest community case of Covid-19 infection widened a new cluster in the city state to four patients, according to the health ministry.

The lone reported community case that added to this cluster is a 44 year-old male Papua New Guinea citizen, with a short-term visit pass, who arrived from Australia on March 25 for a work project, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The linked spread of Covid-19 is the first after the ministry’s announcement on March 25 that there were no open clusters of infections.

Singapore has largely contained the pandemic through aggressive contact tracing, mandatory masks and social distancing, and tightening border controls. It’s averaging two new cases in the community per week the last two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

The city-state also has one of the best vaccination rates in Asia per capita, with nearly 20% of the local population having received their first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines according to data compiled by Bloomberg’s global vaccine tracker.

The Cluster

  • The latest patient was placed under a quarantine on April 1 after a close contact with two of the infected people in the cluster, according to the statement.
  • Earlier, the two infected people were in close contact on a flight with a 50 year-old male Colombian who arrived from Papua New Guinea also for a work project in Singapore. He was confirmed to have Covid-19 on March 30.

Case Details

  • The latest patient got infected in a Covid-19 test on April 12, after returning with negative results on five previous occasions, that included a pre-departure test in Australia on March 23, an on-arrival test in Singapore on March 25.
  • After two days in isolation and testing negative in a test on March 27, he was on a controlled itinerary which was largely limited to his place of work and accommodation.
  • Two tests -- one before his quarantine on March 31 and one immediately after on April 2 -- also came back negative.
  • He tested positive for a test taken on April 12 during the quarantine and was conveyed to a hospital via an ambulance. His serology test result is pending.

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