S'porean man, 70, tests positive for Covid-19, in critical condition in ICU, has no established links

Prior to hospital admission, he worked at Fish Mart Sakuraya along West Coast Road.

Zhangxin Zheng| March 04, 05:23 PM

(Editor's note on March 6: SGH spokesperson assured that precautionary measures were taken and there is no risk of spread during the patient's stay prior to him being confirmed.)

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Two new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Singapore on March 3, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Singapore to 110.

Case 109: 70-year-old man with no links established yet

One of them is a 70-year-old Singaporean man who worked at Fish Mart Sakuraya along West Coast Road prior to hospital admission.

He did not serve any customers or handled food, according to the Ministry of Health.

The 70-year-old has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions but developed symptoms on Feb. 25.

Following which, he had sought treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.

He was presented at Singapore General Hospital on Feb. 29.

Subsequent test results confirmed his Covid-19 infection on March 2 afternoon.

MOH has not established any links between this elderly man and previous cases as of March 3 update.

Warded in SGH with other patients initially

According to the patient's daughter, Ashley Chung, the news came as a surprise to the family as the elder Chung did not travel to affected countries recently.

Chung said that her father felt lethargic on Feb. 25, so much so that he overslept on the bus and missed a stop on the way to work on Feb. 26.

He developed a fever but was not coughing when he visited a GP clinic on Feb. 27.

Chung said that her father, who used to smoke in the past, has a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

However, this is the first time he's so ill and so the family decided to send him to the emergency department at SGH on Feb. 29.

Chung said her father was already trembling and feeling breathless at that point in time.

He was subsequently admitted into ward Class B2 of ward 66 which is dedicated to patients with respiratory problems and was tested for Covid-19 the next day.

Tested positive after condition worsened

During his stay at ward 66, he was tested for Covid-19 on March 1 for the first time and he was confirmed positive that afternoon.

His condition took a turn for the worse before his second swab test and the result of the second test further confirmed he was infected with Covid-19.

He was sent to the isolated room after the first swab test and required assistance for breathing.

Chung added that her father was sent to the intensive care unit on March. 3.

Hoping plasma therapy can help with recovery

Chung understands that convalescent plasma therapy was used to save Covid-19 patients who are critically ill in China and hopes to appeal to the 78 recovered patients to come forward to be part of the convalescent plasma trial in Singapore.

Professor Leo Yee-sin, executive director of the National Centre of Infectious Disease, has also confirmed with Lianhe Zaobao that NCID is seeking consent from recovered patients to collect their blood plasma for this trial.

Chung added that the photo that she shared with Mothership and Wanbao shows her dad's happiest time and the family hopes to see that again.

Top photo collage courtesy of Ashley Chung and via Fish Mart Sakuraya's website