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COVID-19: 19 new cases linked to Changi Airport cluster, largest at 46 cases

·Editorial Team
·15-min read
A traveller loads his luggages on a trolley at the transit hall of Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on January 14, 2021. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A traveller loads his luggages on a trolley at the transit hall of Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on January 14, 2021. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP via Getty)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (13 May) confirmed 34 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,453.

There are 24 new community cases, with 20 linked to previous cases – 19 are linked to the Changi Airport cluster. 

Additionally, there are 10 imported cases, who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, the ministry said in a press release.

Among the new cases today, 13 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while 21 were symptomatic.

Four unlinked cases

There are four community cases who are currently unlinked. 

  • 47-year-old female Singaporean homemaker; preliminary positive for the B1617 variant

She developed a fever, sore throat and body aches at night on 7 May, but did not seek medical treatment until 11 May, when she went to a polyclinic and was tested for COVID-19. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result is pending. 

She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, MOH said, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

  • 43-year-old female Myanmar national, a foreign domestic worker

She developed body aches at night on 7 May night, a runny nose on 8 May and a fever and sore throat on 10 May. She sought medical treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic on 10 May and was tested for COVID-19 the next day.

 Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. Her serology test result is negative. 

  • 50-year-old female Singaporean tutor at Learning Point

She developed diarrhoea and a headache on 3 May, a fever on 6 May and cough on 11 May. She sought medical treatment at a GP clinic on 11 May and was tested for COVID-19. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result is pending. 

  • 51-year-old female Philippines national, a foreign domestic worker; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

She developed a fever on 8 May and sought medical treatment at a GP clinic. On 12 May, she developed a fever, cough, runny nose and headache and sought treatment at the same GP clinic, and was tested for COVID-19. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result is pending. 

She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

19 new cases linked to Changi Airport cluster; total of 46 cases

The "Case 62873" cluster is named after an 88-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. The fully-vaccinated man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 5 May.

In total, there are 46 cases linked to this cluster, which is the biggest active cluster in Singapore currently. 

The cluster, announced by the MOH on Sunday, has at least 17 who have tested preliminarily positive for the Indian variant, or B1617.

  • 46-year-old male Malaysian national; fully vaccinated

He is employed by SATS as an auxiliary police officer at Changi Airport. He is a household contact of Case 63070 – a 56-year-old male Malaysian who is a cleaner at Kopitiam at Changi Airport Terminal 3, and Happy Hawkers at 267 Compassvale Link; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 10 May. 

The 46-year-old was placed on quarantine on 11 May. On the same day, he developed a fever and sore throat in the evening, and was tested for COVID-19 on 12 May. 

His test result came back positive on the same day. His serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 21 February, and the second dose on 14 March. 

  • 45-year-old female China national who works as a service personnel at SATS Premier Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3

She developed a cough, chills and runny nose on 7 May but did not seek medical treatment. As she had been identified as a close contact of Case 62873, she was placed on quarantine on 10 May. 

She was tested for COVID-19 during quarantine on 11 May, and her result came back positive the next day. Her serology test result is negative. 

  • 77-year-old female Singaporean cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

She is is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3. As she had been identified as a contact of Case 62873, she was placed on quarantine on 9 May. 

She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she was tested on 11 May during quarantine. Her earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 30 April – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. Her serology test result is pending. 

She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

  • 53-year-old female Singaporean who works as a cleaner at Abba Maintenance Services Pte Ltd

She is the spouse and household contact of Case 63097 – a 62-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner and trolley handler at Changi Airport Terminal 3; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 11 May. 

She developed a sore throat on 10 May but did not seek medical treatment. As she had been identified as a close contact of Case 63097, she was placed on quarantine on 11 May. 

She reported her symptom to the MOH, and was tested for COVID-19 on the same day during quarantine. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. Her serology test result has come back positive. 

She received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 3 April, and the second dose on 24 April.

  • 57-year-old male Singaporean healthcare assistant at Raffles Medical at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Transit; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

He was detected when he was tested on 10 May as part of Rostered Routine Testing (RRT). He developed a runny nose on the same evening but did not report his symptom. 

His pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 on 11 May and he was conveyed to National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and an individual test was done. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 4 May – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. 

His serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 28 March, and the second dose on 25 April. 

  • 39-year-old male Singaporean retail executive who works at Changi Airport Terminal 3; fully vaccinated

He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested on 10 May as part of RRT. 

His pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day. He was conveyed to NCID on 11 May, and an individual test was done. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. 

His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 13 April – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 21 January, and the second dose on 14 February.

  • 49-year-old male Malaysian cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

He is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3. As he had been identified as a contact of Case 63072 – a 40-year-old male Malaysia national who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a premises maintenance officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 10 May – he was placed on quarantine on 10 May and was tested on 11 May during quarantine. 

On the same day, he developed a cough but did not report his symptom. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. 

His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 1 May – were negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology result is pending. 

He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

  • 33-year-old male Malaysian cleaning supervisor at Changi Airport Terminal 3; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

He is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd. As he had been identified as a contact of Case 63072, he was placed on quarantine on 10 May, and was tested on 11 May during quarantine. 

The next day, he developed a cough and blocked nose but did not report his symptoms. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. 

His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 30 April – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology result is pending. 

He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 22 January, and the second dose on 14 February. 

  • 29-year-old male Singaporean engineer at ST Engineering

He is a household contact of Case 63026 – a-66 year-old male Singaporean who works as a SATS passenger escort at Changi Airport Terminal 3; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 9 May. 

The engineer was placed on quarantine on 9 May. He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested on 11 May during quarantine. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. 

His serology test result is negative. 

  • 44-year-old female Indonesian who is a foreign domestic worker

As she had been identified as a contact of Case 63059 – a 63-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 10 May – she was placed on quarantine on 10 May. 

She developed a fever on 11 May and was tested for COVID-19 when she reported her symptom. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. Her serology test result is pending.

  • 52-year-old female Singaporean who works at McDonald’s at 744 Bedok Reservoir Road; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

She is a household contact of Case 63100 – a 65-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd as a cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3; was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 11 May.

She developed a sore throat on 8 May but did not seek medical treatment. As she had been identified as a close contact of Case 63100, she was placed on quarantine on 11 May. 

She informed MOH of her symptom and was tested for COVID-19 on 11 May during quarantine. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. Her serology test result is pending. 

She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

  • 20-year-old male Singaporean student at Temasek Polytechnic; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

He had been on home-based learning since 7 May. He is a household contact of Case 63100. 

He developed a headache and cough on 11 May but did not seek medical treatment. As he had been identified as a close contact of Case 63100, he was placed on quarantine on 11 May. 

He informed MOH of his symptom and was tested for COVID-19 on 11 May. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. His serology test result is negative. 

He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

  • 44-year-old female Singaporean homemaker who visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 on numerous occasions

She developed a sore throat on 8 May and sought medical treatment at a GP clinic the next day. She was tested for COVID-19 infection on 10 May, and her result came back positive on 12 May. Her serology test result is pending. 

  • 63-year-old male Singaporean aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3; fully vaccinated

He developed a runny nose on 10 May and sought medical treatment at a GP clinic the next day where he was tested for COVID-19. His test result came back positive on 12 May. 

His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 3 May – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serological test result is pending. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 14 January, and the second dose on 4 February. 

  • 40-year-old male Singaporean software engineer at ST Engineering; fully vaccinated

He developed a sore throat on 9 May, headache on 10 May and runny nose on 11 May. He sought medical treatment at a GP clinic on 11 May, and was tested for COVID-19. 

His test result came back positive on 12 May. His serology test result is pending. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 5 February, and the second dose on 26 February. 

  • 44-year-old male Singaporean private hire car driver with GoJek; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

He visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 on 6 May. He developed a fever and cough on 10 May and sought treatment at a GP clinic on the same day, where he was tested for COVID-19. 

His test result came back positive on 12 May. His serology test result is pending. 

He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

  • 24-year-old female Singaporean student

She is a student at an overseas university and had been on home-based learning in Singapore. 

She is a household contact of Case 63059 and was placed on quarantine on 10 May. 

She developed a fever and runny nose on 12 May and was tested for COVID-19 after reporting her symptoms. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result is pending.

  • 80-year-old female Singaporean cleaner at Changi Airport Terminal 3

She is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services Pte Ltd. 

As she had been identified as a contact of Case 62873, she was placed on quarantine on 10 May. 

She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she was tested on 12 May during quarantine. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 13 May. Her serology test result is pending. 

  • 58-year-old female Singaporean administrative personnel at SBY Frozen Food Supply; preliminary positive for B1617 variant

She is a family member and household contact of Cases 63055 – a 59-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by Certis Cisco as an aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 10 May – and 63074 – a 33-year-old female Singaporean who works as an administrative staff at SBY Frozen Food Supply and is a family member and household contact of Case 63055; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 10 May. 

She was placed on quarantine on 10 May. She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she was tested on 12 May during quarantine. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID19 infection on 13 May. Her serology test result is pending. 

She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. 

She received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 3 April, and the second dose on 24 April.

Yio Chu Kang Primary student linked to SKH nurse

The 7-year-old male Philippines national is a household contact of Case 63096 – a-33 year-old male Philippines national who works as an operating theatre nurse at Sengkang General Hospital; confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 11 May. The boy did had not gone to school after onset of symptoms. 

He developed a cough and itchy throat on 10 May night, and vomited the next day. He sought medical treatment at a GP clinic on 11 May, and was tested for COVID-19. He was also placed on quarantine on the same day. 

His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. His serology test result is pending.

Details of 10 imported cases

Among the 10 imported cases: 

  • One is a Singaporean and two are Singapore permanent residents who returned from India. 

  • One dependant’s pass holder who arrived from Nepal. 

  • Two are student’s pass holders who arrived from India. 

  • Two are work pass holders who arrived from Nepal and Sri Lanka. 

  • Two are short-term visit pass holders. One arrived from India to visit a family member who is a Singapore permanent resident. The other is a sea crew who arrived from Japan on a vessel and was tested onboard without disembarking.

They had all already been placed on SHN or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving SHN or during isolation. "The arrivals from the Indian subcontinent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," the MOH said. 

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 48 cases in the week before to 71 cases in the past week, the MOH said. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from seven cases in the week before to 15 cases in the past week. 

99% of total cases have recovered, 3 in ICU

With 23 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 61,029 cases – or 99.3 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 150 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while three of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 243 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 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.

Among the 167 confirmed cases reported from 7 to 13 May, 71 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 77 have tested negative, and 19 serology test results are pending.

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