Singapore: 24 new Covid-19 cases reported - one in community; two bodies found in river near Clarke Quay

Singapore reports 1 community infection among 23 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday (April 18,2021). - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, April 18 (The Straits Times/ANN): There were 23 new coronavirus cases confirmed as at Sunday noon (April 18), taking Singapore's total to 60,831.

They included 22 imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

There was also one community case.

No new cases were reported within migrant workers' dormitories.

On Saturday, four new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection were reported, one of which involved a national serviceman who was due to attend his in-camp training (ICT) at Nee Soon Camp.

Two of the new cases are linked to a National University of Singapore (NUS) senior research fellow from India who was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Thursday. On Saturday, MOH said his colleague - a 31-year-old Swiss woman who is also a senior research fellow at NUS - had caught the virus too.

She had interacted with him on April 12 and developed a sore throat on April 15 but did not seek medical treatment. As she had been identified as a close contact, she was placed on quarantine.

Her test came back positive on April 16.

The man's 35-year-old brother, who works at DBS Bank at 2 Changi Business Park Crescent, was also infected. He had been working mostly from home, and last went back to his workplace between April 6 and 9.

As he had also been identified as a close contact, he was placed on home quarantine on April 15.

He developed a fever the next day and was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) after he informed MOH of his symptoms. His test came back positive on April 17.

Another case reported on Saturday was that of a Singaporean man, 35, who works as a freelance photographer. He was tested on April 15 as part of the Singapore Armed Forces' protocol to test national servicemen at the start of their in-camp training.

His pooled test came back positive, and a swab done on April 16 gave the same result. He was taken to the NCID, where he developed a fever on the same day.

MOH said his serological test result has come back positive, which is indicative of a past infection.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said immediate and thorough disinfection of the premises that the serviceman had been in was carried out.

All personnel identified as close contacts during the ICT were also swab tested. None tested positive and all are under quarantine.

"They will be monitored and retested to confirm their negative status before they are released from quarantine," the spokesman added.

The fourth patient is a female Singapore permanent resident, 41. She is an accountant at OM Universal at 11 Kaki Bukit Road 1 but had not gone to the office since she developed a cough on the evening of April 14 after work.

She went to a clinic the next day, where she was tested for Covid-19. The result came back positive on April 16 and she was taken to NCID.

One of her household contacts is a work pass holder who arrived from India on April 2, and had tested positive for Covid-19 on that day. But he was later assessed to be a recovered case, based on his serology result on April 4.

There were also 35 imported cases on Saturday.

The bodies of two men were retrieved from the Singapore River on Sunday (April 18,2021). - The Straits Times/ANNThe bodies of two men were retrieved from the Singapore River on Sunday (April 18,2021). - The Straits Times/ANN

In another development, The bodies of two men, aged 26 and 28, were retrieved from the Singapore River early on Sunday (April 18).

Police said they were alerted at 1.57am to a case of suspected drowning near 6 Eu Tong Sen Street - the address of Clarke Quay Central.

A spokesman for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for water rescue at about 2am. Its officers saw no signs of the missing persons upon arrival.

Divers from the SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) were deployed to perform an underwater search.

Dart also deployed an underwater remotely operated vehicle to aid the search effort. This allows search operations to be conducted using sonar-imaging equipment that maps out underwater terrain.

"This reduces risks for the divers due to poor visibility underwater, and also reduces search time," said the SCDF spokesman.

The bodies were found and retrieved by the divers, one at about 4am and the other at about 5.45am.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic.

"Based on preliminary investigations, the police do not suspect foul play," said a police spokesman.

On Sunday, the Chinese-language Shin Min Daily News reported that the older man fell into the river after drinking. On seeing this, the 26-year-old is said to have jumped in, making a doomed attempt to rescue him.

An eyewitness told the evening newspaper that other friends who were with the two called the police for help after seeing them in the water.

Investigations are ongoing. - The Straits Times/ANN

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