On Feb. 5, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that local human-to-human transmissions of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) had taken place in Singapore.
Unfortunately, it has infected four members of the same household, including a six-month-old baby boy.
The first Singaporean family that got infected locally has no recent travel history to China.
They stayed in Jalan Bukit Merah with their female Indonesian domestic helper who also did not travel to China.
All four of them were tested positive for 2019-nCoV.
The mother and her helper are now at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
The father is warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), while their six-month-old son is at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).
For this Singaporean family, the symptoms started a few days after the Chinese New Year.
Case 19 (Wife)
Case 19 is a 28-year-old Singaporean resident currently warded in an isolation room at the SGH.
She works at Yong Thai Hang, a Chinese health store at 24 Cavan Road that primarily serves Chinese tourists.
The patient developed sore throat and fever on Jan. 29, and went to a General Practitioner clinic (GP) on the same day.
On Jan. 30, she visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) emergency department, but was discharged when chest x-rays came back negative for pneumonia.
She reported that she did not leave her home at Jalan Bukit Merah from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
On Feb. 3, she went to SGH and was classified as a suspect case.
Subsequent test results on the same day revealed that she had nCoV.
Case 27 (Husband)
Case 27 is a 45-year-old male Singaporean who tested positive for coronavirus on Feb. 5 at about 2pm.
He is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
Case 28 (Baby Boy)
Case 28 is a six-month-old male baby who is the child of Case 19 and 27.
He was tested positive for coronavirus on Feb. 5 at about 2pm, at the same time as his father.
He is currently warded in an isolation room at KKH.
Case 21 (Domestic helper)
Case 21 is a 44-year-old female Indonesian national.
She is the domestic helper of Case 19 and is currently warded in an isolation room at SGH.
She reported onset of symptoms on Feb. 2, and was admitted to SGH emergency department on Feb. 3.
Test results on the afternoon of Feb. 4 confirmed that she had been infected.
The helper has not left her place of residence since the onset of symptoms.
Who is the main cause?
According to MOH, these four cases can be traced to contact with a tour group from Guangxi comprising of 20 tourists.
They visited Singapore from Jan. 22 to 23., two days before Chinese New Year. They returned on Jan.27 (transit from 3 to 6am).
The Chinese health authorities have confirmed that the two travellers from the group have since been confirmed with the nCoV infection.
According to MOH, all the cases are stable.
Most of the cases are stable or improving. One requires additional oxygen support, but is not in the intensive care unit.
Top photo by Andrew Koay.