SINGAPORE: A new COVID-19 cluster was reported in Singapore on Saturday (Apr 24) after four community cases were linked to an Indonesian sea crew who tested positive last week.
The four — all Indonesians — were working on board the same bunker tanker as the earlier case. They were placed on quarantine on Apr 16 after being identified as close contacts of Case 62113.
Among the four, three are asymptomatic. The other case developed a cough on Apr 21 during quarantine but did not report it, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
They were all tested on Apr 22 during quarantine and their results came back positive on the same day.
They had not disembarked from the vessel, MT ALLI, except to go for COVID-19 testing or vaccination, said MOH.
Two of the men — Case 62348 and 62350 — received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Apr 15 and Apr 7 respectively.
“As it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination, they were likely to have been infected before they were conferred protection after vaccination,” MOH said.
READ: Sea crew member who preliminarily tested positive for B117 strain is Singapore’s sole community case
The Indonesian crew member whose infection was confirmed last week was preliminarily positive for the B117 strain.
MOH said on Apr 18 and this was pending further confirmatory tests. The B117 variant is the more contagious coronavirus strain first detected in the United Kingdom.
Case 62113 was asymptomatic when his case was reported.
His infection was detected when he was swabbed as part of rostered routine testing on Apr 15, the same day he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“As the vaccine does not contain live virus, he could not have been infected due to vaccination,” said MOH.
The man had tested negative in earlier rostered routine testing, the last of which was on Apr 1.
His serological test result was negative, indicating that he likely had a current infection.
He had not disembarked from the vessel except to go for COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
Singapore now has four active COVID-19 clusters, including one linked to an accountant at OM Universal. Her son and husband who is a restaurant manager have tested positive. Their infections are linked to a household contact — an imported case who was “probably re-infected” in India, MOH said previously.
Singapore reported a total of 23 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, including five cases in the community.
The fifth community case in a 45-year-old Singapore permanent resident who was his mother’s caregiver at a COVID-19 quarantine facility.