Covid-19-positive Papua New Guinea national in S'pore took 7 tests in 20 days

Why incessant testing works.

Belmont Lay | April 15, 2021, 05:56 PM

A Papua New Guinea national was the sole Covid-19 community case among 27 new infections reported on April 14.

The 44-year-old man was on a controlled itinerary during a work project in Singapore, where he was largely limited to his place of work and accommodation.

His case showed that repeatedly testing for Covid-19 allowed the source of his infection to be pinpointed.

New cluster

Identified as Case 61917, he is linked to a new cluster of infections involving three previously reported Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

He is the first new Covid-19 case reported in the community since April 10.

This is the first new Covid-19 cluster in Singapore since March 25.

Tested negative for Covid-19

First test

The man tested negative for Covid-19 on March 23 during his pre-departure test in Australia.

Second test

He also tested negative in his on-arrival test in Singapore on March 25.

Third test

He was isolated until another test on March 27 came back negative.

Fourth test

Another test done on March 31 also came back negative for Covid-19.

Fifth test

The man was placed in quarantine at a dedicated facility as he was identified as a close contact of Cases 61461 and 61470, who both tested positive for Covid-19 on April 1.

Sixth test

A swab taken from the man on April 2 during quarantine came back negative for Covid-19.

Seventh test

The man remained in quarantine and took another test on April 12.

He was confirmed to be Covid-19 positive on April 13, and was taken to a hospital.

MOH said the man is asymptomatic and his serology test result is pending.

Locally transmitted case

MOH added that they have "classified this case as locally transmitted" as the man had repeatedly tested negative for Covid-19 before April 12.

In total, he had six negative Covid-19 test results before testing positive.

He was likely to have been infected through his exposure with the two cases during the course of their work, MOH said.

Two other Papua New Guinea nationals Covid-19 positive

Those two cases, Cases 61461, aged 54, and 61470, aged 30, are also Papua New Guinea nationals holding short-term visit passes.

They arrived in Singapore for work from Papua New Guinea on March 27.

Three Papua New Guinea nationals linked to Colombian

The three men are part of a new cluster of infections linked to Case 61360, a 50-year-old Colombian national.

This Colombian man arrived in Singapore from Papua New Guinea on March 27 on a short-term visit pass for a work project.

He was confirmed to be Covid-19 positive on March 30.