A 55 year-old Singaporean made five visits to clinics before being confirmed positive with COVID-19

As of 12 pm Sunday (15 March), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed and verified 14 more cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore.

Two of the new cases are part of the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February; while nine are imported cases.

One of the SAFRA Jurong cases is a 55 year-old-female Singaporean (Case 218) who is currently in isolation at the National University Hospital (NUH). MOH noted that she does not have recent travel history to affected countries and regions. In addition, she mostly stayed at her home at Pending Road except seeking medical treatment.

MOH explained, however, that the woman had sought treatment at two clinics five different times after reporting an onset of symptoms on 2 March. She sought treatment at two general practitioner clinics on 2 March, 3 March, 4 March, 6 March, and 8 March. However, the virus was not detected on those visits.

Eventually, on 9 March, she visited NUH. There, she was tested for the virus once again and results confirmed on 14 March that she has been infected with COVID-19. She was subsequently placed in isolation.

The SAFRA Jurong cluster was a Chinese New Year dinner gathering on 15 February attended by several hundred people at Joy Garden Restaurant. Several attendees were symptomatic, and four days before the dinner reported symptoms in the cluster.

So far, 47 cases have been linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster.

In an article on government website Gov.sg on 10 March, it was noted that MOH shared that many locally transmitted cases were caused by individuals attending social activities, despite being unwell. “These socially irresponsible behaviours pose a risk for the wider community, and mean that the precautionary measures implemented by the Government may not work,” said the article.

MOH has identified 5,472 close contacts of all cases who have been quarantined. Of these, 1,817 are currently quarantined, and 3,655 have accomplished their quarantine.

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