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Brother, colleague of NUS researcher who tested positive among 4 new Covid-19 cases in the community

SINGAPORE – There were four new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection on Saturday (April 17).

Two are linked to the Indian national and senior research fellow, 34, at the National University of Singapore (NUS) who, on April 15, was confirmed to have Covid-19.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had said the NUS senior research fellow was one of two Covid-19 cases in the community.

On Saturday, MOH said of the four new community cases, one was his colleague – a Swiss woman, 31, who is a work pass holder and also a senior research fellow at NUS.

She had interacted with him on April 12 and developed a sore throat on April 15 but did not seek medical treatment.

As she had been identified as a close contact, she was contacted by MOH on April 16 and placed on quarantine.

She reported her symptom and was taken in an ambulance to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where she was tested for Covid-19.

Her test came back positive for Covid-19 infection on April 16, and her serology test result is pending, MOH said.

The man’s brother, 35, works at DBS Bank at 2 Changi Business Park Crescent but has largely been working from home, said MOH.

He last went back to his workplace between April 6 and 9.

As he had also been identified as a close contact, he was placed on home quarantine on April 15.

He developed a fever the next day and was taken in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) after he informed MOH of his symptom.

He was tested for Covid-19 and his test came back positive on April 17. MOH said his serology test result is pending.

The third case reported on Saturday was a Singaporean man, 35, who works as a freelance photographer.

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He was detected when he was tested on April 15 as part of the Singapore Armed Force’s protocol to test national servicemen at the start of their in-camp training.

His pooled test on April 15 came back positive for Covid-19, and an individual swab done on April 16 was also positive for Covid-19 infection.

He was taken in an ambulance to the NCID, and developed a fever on the same day.

Another test conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) on April 16 was negative for Covid-19 infection but a subsequent test on April 17 by NPHL was again positive for Covid-19.

MOH said his serological test result has come back positive, which is indicative of a past infection.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said on Saturday the serviceman was well and asymptomatic when he reported for ICT at Nee Soon Camp.

The fourth case on Saturday is a female Singapore permanent resident, 41. She works as an accountant at OM Universal at 11 Kaki Bukit Road 1 but had not gone to work since onset of symptoms.

She developed a cough in the evening of April 14 after work, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day, where she was tested for Covid-19.

Her test result came back positive on April 16 and she was taken to NCID in an ambulance. MOH said her serology test result is pending.

One of her household contacts is a work pass holder who arrived from India on April 2, who tested positive for Covid-19 infection on that day but was subsequently assessed to be a recovered case based on his positive serology result on April 4.

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MOH said that epidemiological investigations are ongoing and in the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

There were also 35 imported cases on Saturday, taking Singapore’s total to 60,808.

All 35 had already been placed on stay-home notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from two cases in the week before to seven cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 2 cases in the week before to 4 cases in the past week.

With 17 more cases discharged on Saturday, 60,448 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

There are currently 62 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 253 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Singapore has had 30 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

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