It was reported yesterday that there were 12 new cases of COVID-19 with 8 imported from outside of Singapore (‘Twelve new cases of Covid-19; Eight imported cases from various countries‘, 11 Mar). In total, Singapore had 178 cases.
Among them were two from the Philippines, a Filipino nurse and her husband, who both works in Singapore. The nurse works at the emergency department of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) in Jurong. They had travelled to the Philippines on 11 February last month.
The Filipino nurse returned back to Singapore on 17th while her husband on 19th. However, her husband went back to Philippines again on 23rd to visit a relative with “pneumonia” and returned back to Singapore about a week later on 2 March last Monday. The relative has since passed on.
The Filipino nurse reported onset of symptoms on 8 March and had sought treatment at NTFGH, the same hospital she works in, the next day (9 March). On Tuesday (10 March), she was confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19. She is currently warded in an isolation room at NTFGH.
Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement, “She is employed as a staff nurse at NTFGH and had been at work prior to hospital admission. She stays at Jurong East Street 21.”
Meanwhile, her husband was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection yesterday (11 March) and has also been warded in an isolation room at NTFGH.
NTFGH Chief: We will monitor emergency department team closely
In a statement last night, NTFGH said that while at work, the infected nurse had complied with its infection control measures, and had not attended to any confirmed COVID-19 patients in the last 14 days.
“Our nurse, who had been at work since Feb 18, was well and complied with daily temperature taking and monitoring of health,” said Mr Foo Hee Jug, chief executive of NTFGH.
Foo said his hospital had taken immediate measures, including contacting emergency department colleagues, and will be monitoring the team closely. All the common staff areas in the emergency department such as the changing rooms, toilets, pantry, rest spaces and lifts have been disinfected, he said.
“We will continue with daily checks and audits on infection control practices and PPE compliance, and will remind all staff to adhere to measures to safeguard patients and fellow colleagues,” he added.
According to CNN News yesterday (11 March), Philippines only had 49 COVID-19 cases in the country. Singapore has at least more than 3 times the number of cases in the Philippines currently.