COVID-19: 2 imported cases tested preliminarily positive for UK strain including SIA pilot – MOH

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Singapore Airlines passenger plane is towed to the terminal area of Changi International Airport in Singapore on December 7, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Singapore Airlines passenger plane is towed to the terminal area of Changi International Airport in Singapore on 7 December 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Two imported cases have tested preliminarily positive for the potentially more contagious UK coronavirus strain, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday (30 December).

One of them is a Singaporean who works as a pilot with Singapore Airlines. He recently travelled to the UK for work from 19 December to 22 December.

He was tested on 23 December as part of rostered routine testing for air crew who travel frequently, and his test came back negative for COVID-19 infection.

Last Saturday, he developed a fever, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day, where he was swabbed. His test came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Tuesday and he was conveyed to NCID in an ambulance.

He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, which is circulating in the UK and has spread to other countries including in Asia and Europe. Further tests will be conducted to confirm the strain, the MOH said.

The other imported case who had tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain is a work pass holder who arrived from the UK on 7 December. He was placed on Stay-Home Notice at a dedicated facility upon arrival in Singapore.

He was tested on 17 December and his test result was negative for COVID-19. He ended his SHN on 21 December, but started to develop body ache on 22 December and acute respiratory infection symptoms on 25 December. He sought medical treatment on Monday and was swabbed for COVID-19. His test result came back positive on Tuesday, and he was conveyed to NCID in an ambulance. His serological test result has come back positive.

He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

The two cases are among the 27 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, of which 26 are imported and one is locally transmitted.

The announcement comes a week after the MOH confirmed Singapore’s first case infected with the B117 strain. The case is a 17-year-old Singaporean girl who had been studying in the UK from August, the MOH said on 23 December. The MOH also said then that 11 other cases who had tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain and confirmatory results were pending.

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