Eight new Covid-19 cases detected in Singapore


  • Singapore
  • Friday, 14 Feb 2020

The Grace Assembly of God church's premises in Tanglin. Five of the eight new coronavirus cases in Singapore are linked to the church.- ST/ANN

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Eight more cases of the coronavirus with links to previous ones have been confirmed in Singapore, bringing the total number of infected people to 58.

Five of the new cases are linked to the Grace Assembly of God church, including a 54-year-old man who is a professor, from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment (SDE).

The Ministry of Health said on Thursday (Feb 13) that the professor did not interact with colleagues and students after he fell ill.

The cluster is now linked to seven confirmed cases, including the church's senior pastor Wilson Teo. Two earlier cases, both staff at the church, were announced on Wednesday.

Another two new cases are Bangladeshi work pass holders, aged 30 and 37, who are linked to a worksite in Seletar Aerospace Heights. They are cases 52 and 56.

The worksite is now linked to a cluster of four cases, all of whom are Bangladeshi nationals.

The last new case is a 30-year-old Singaporean man who is a family member of case 50, the 62-year-old male DBS Bank employee who was confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday. He is case 55.

Of the five linked to the Grace Assembly of God church, two were confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday afternoon, and the other three tested positive on Thursday morning. All five are Singaporeans.

They include four men, aged 26,48,54 and 58, and one 54-year-old woman.

Case 51, the 48-year-old man, fell ill on Feb 4 and saw a GP on Feb 5 and 10. He went to the NCID on Feb 11.

Before being hospitalised, he went to work at both of the church's locations, in Tanglin Road and Bukit Batok West.

In a statement to the church's congregants, the man identified himself as Wilson Teo, a senior pastor.

He noted that he is recovering well and that all staff members of the church have been issued home quarantine orders by the MOH.

Both the church's premises at Tanglin and Bukit Batok will be closed from Feb 14 to Feb 25 and reopen on Feb 26 pending further updates, he said.

Case 53, the 54-year-old NUS professor, fell ill on Feb 10 and went to the NCID on Feb 12. He tested positive the same day.

In a message to NUS staff and students, the university's president Tan Eng Chye said the professor, who attends the Grace Assembly of God church, is in stable condition and in good spirits.

His last contact with students was on Feb 5, said Prof Tan.

As a precaution, e-learning will be conducted for all students at the SDE from Friday, Prof Tan added. There will be no in-person classes, tests, meetings or other interactions between students and staff of the school until Feb 21.

The week after, from Feb 22 to Mar 1, is a break period, or recess week.

It is unclear if the other three cases linked to the church - cases 54,57 and 58 - are congregants or workers. Two previous cases in the cluster, cases 48 and 49, were both church workers who visited both locations.

One of the Bangladeshis confirmed to be infected on Thursday, case 52, fell ill on Feb 7. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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