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21 Dec 2020

21st Dec 2020

          As of 21 December 2020, 12pm, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed 1 new case of locally transmitted COVID-19 infection. Based on our investigations so far, the case is in the community, and there are no new cases in the dormitories.

2.            In addition, there are 9 imported cases, who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival in Singapore. In total, there are 10 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore today.

3.            We are still working through the details of the cases, and further updates will be shared via the MOH press release that will be issued tonight.

 

Investigations into 13 cases who served SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore

4.            As announced on 19 December, MOH is investigating 13 cases  of COVID-19 infection amongst individuals who had served SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between 22 October and 11 November 2020. As a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all guests, the hotel has stopped accepting new guests since 19 December, and all existing guests checked out by 9pm on 20 December. All individuals serving SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore have been transported via dedicated vehicles to an alternative SHN dedicated facility on 20 December.

5.            MOH has completed our special testing operations to test all individuals serving SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, as well as staff of the hotel. In total, 394 persons serving SHN at the hotel have been swabbed. Of these, 391 were tested negative while 3 (Cases 58656, 58657 and 58658) were tested positive on 20 December and were immediately conveyed to the hospital via ambulance. As they have recent travel history, it is likely that these are imported cases who were infected while they were overseas. Nevertheless the National Public Health Laboratory will conduct whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to determine if they could be linked to the 13 cases. These cases were announced by MOH on 20 December, and included in our daily case count.

6.            In total, we have tested 571 staff of Mandarin Orchard Singapore, and 570 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results have come back negative for COVID-19 infection. MOH is facilitating testing for the remaining individual who has yet to be PCR tested. The serological tests of 8 more staff have come back positive, indicating likely past infections, in addition to the 3 announced yesterday. Epidemiological investigations of these 11 cases are in progress. In the meantime, we will test their identified close contacts as a precautionary measure, and also conduct serological tests to determine if these individuals could have been infected by them.

7.            Singapore reports COVID-19 cases in accordance with international practice. Every case who tested positive through a PCR test and is assessed to be an acute infection is reported and included in our case count. We follow the World Health Organization’s criterion that only positive results from confirmatory tests (i.e. PCR tests) are included in the case count. This ensures consistency in reporting cases across countries. The 11 cases whose serological tests have come back positive, but whose PCR test results are negative for COVID-19 infection, are therefore not included in our daily case count.

8.            Travellers entering Singapore are subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including SHN and COVID-19 tests, where applicable. Hotels used as SHN dedicated facilities have strict protocols to which all travellers subjected to SHN must adhere to. Regular checks on these hotels are conducted to ensure that safe management measures are complied with, and security measures are in place. These  measures have helped to mitigate the risk of importation and transmission, but travellers must themselves also remain vigilant, and take all precautionary measures to protect themselves and their travelling companions. 


MINISTRY OF HEALTH
21 DECEMBER 2020