The Government is considering whether additional measures are necessary to ensure the COVID-19 transmission remains under control amid the recent spike in community cases, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Monday (18 January).
Mr Wong, the co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19, took to Facebook yesterday noting that the country has seen more new infected cases in the community in recent days, and the first emergence of a local cluster after several months.
“For the first time in several months, we have a local cluster linked to a police para-vet. Unfortunately, there were also several recent cases who did not seek medical treatment despite falling ill with flu-like symptoms,” he wrote.
As of Monday noon, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed an additional 14 cases of COVID-19 infection in the city-state, two of which are locally transmitted COVID-19 infection.
The two community cases were linked to the police para-veterinarian cluster, a 32-year-old Singaporean who works as a police para-vet at 2 Mowbray Road. The para-vet was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 13 January and his wife was also tested positive for the virus two days later.
Meanwhile, the recent two community cases were identified as family members of Case 59365 – a 44-year-old Singaporean man who works as an administrative officer at the police’s K-9 unit.
The first of the two cases is Case 59365’s 43-year-old wife, who had developed a fever and chills on 9 January and subsequently lost her sense of taste on 13 January. MOH noted that she did not seek medical treatment, as reported by CNA.
She was contacted by MOH on 16 January as part of contact tracing efforts. Her test came back positive the next day and she was then taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
Her serological test, however, was negative.
The second case is a 66-year-old Malaysian woman who is a long-term visit pass holder. She developed acute respiratory infection symptoms and diarrhoea on 9 January and loss of taste on 14 January.
MOH noted that the second case had also not sought medical treatment.
Following that, Mr Wong noted that contact tracers are working hard to identify all the possible contacts, ring-fence the potential cases and prevent them from spreading further.
“We are also monitoring the situation carefully and considering if additional measures are necessary to ensure the infection remains under control,” he added.
The Minister advised people to cooperate with all the safety management measures, to wear masks, seek medical treatment when sick, and “do your part to reduce transmission risks”.
“The virus is still circulating silently within our community and we cannot afford to let our guard down,” he said.
Given that S’pore has seen more imported cases in the past months, netizens ask: “So now it’s S’poreans fault?”
Penning their thoughts under the comment section of Mr Wong’s and The Straits Times’ posts, many netizens pointed out that the Government did not react when imported cases increased, and instead allowing more travellers to enter Singapore.
Now that the country reports more community cases, they said that the Government is blaming its own citizens for not taking precautions. Some even said that the community cases may have resulted from the imported cases.
A handful of netizens opined that the Government should first ban travellers from entering Singapore before implementing additional measures to control the local transmission of COVID-19.
They pointed out that the country has seen more imported cases daily, as compared to community cases.