Of the 305 new cases of COVID-19 announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday (18 May), two were community cases, including a 58-year-old woman who was working at the Bishan MRT station.
The woman had shown symptoms of the virus on 14 May and had subsequently tested positive on 17 May. Despite showing symptoms, the woman continued going to work at the station until she was tested positive.
The MOH has also listed the woman’s case as “local unlinked”. This means that it has yet to confirm where she contracted the virus or link her to any virus clusters.
Though the MOH did not specify the woman’s job scope, TOC understands that the woman is a Service Ambassador (SA) at the station, meaning she would provide assistance to any commuters who needed it. This was noted by the Station Ops Manager in a notice to its staff. The notice also stated that several staff members at the station have had meals together with the SA and will be placed under quarantine.
This is not the first case of an SMRT employee being infected with COVID-19. In early April, a Rover from the circle line and a maintenance staff from the Rolling Stock Workshop were diagnosed with the virus on 6 and 8 April respectively.
However, it appears that SMRT did not inform the public about these two previous cases. Sources also informed TOC that they had worked and interacted with the Rover who was confirmed with the virus but no one reached out to them for contact tracing purposes.
The job scope of a Rover is similar to that of an SA like the lady who was most recently diagnosed, while also having to be stationed within the train.
TOC reached out to SMRT on these cases in April but have yet to receive a response.
MOH closes an existing cluster and announces for new ones
The other community case announced by the MOH is a 50-year-old man linked to a cluster at 1020 Tai Seng Avenue who had reported symptoms on 13 May and was subsequently tested positive on 17 May.
The remaining 302 infections were migrant workers living in dormitories.
This is the lowest number of daily cases in the country since 12 April, when there were 233 cases. However, the MOH noted that this is partly due to fewer tests being processed as one of the testing laboratories is reviewing its process following an issue with apparatus calibration. The MOH stated that they would need time to ramp up testing capacity.
The MOH also announced four new clusters of infection at 2 Kampong Ampat, 43 Tuas View Close, 117 Tuas View Walk, and 7 Woodlands Industrial Park E1.
The Ministry added that the ABC Hostel cluster has now been closed as there have been no new cases linked to it for the past 28 days, or two incubation periods.
The total number of infections in Singapore stands at 28,343, with 9,835 recovered and 1,036 still in hospital. The rest are places being isolated in community facility, the majority of whom are migrant workers. On top of that, 22 people have died from complications due to the coronavirus.