The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced today (29 Apr) that 7 family members of an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. They had already been placed on quarantine earlier after the ICA officer was tested positive for COVID-19.
The 38-year-old ICA officer was deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 1. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Tue (27 Apr).
He developed a cough last Fri (23 Apr) and sought medical treatment the next day at a general practitioner clinic, where he was given two days’ of medical leave. He developed a fever, body aches as well as lost his sense of smell on Mon (26 Apr).
He then sought medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day (27 Apr) and was tested for COVID-19. His test came back positive on the same day.
As an ICA officer, he would have come into contact with travellers who may have potentially contracted COVID-19 outside of Singapore.
No pre-departure PCR test needed
Not all travellers arriving in Singapore need to take a pre-departure PCR test in the country they travelled from.
According to ICA website, no approvals or inbound pre-departure COVID-19 PCR Test is required for entry into Singapore for Singapore citizen and PR.
“There is also no need for returning SC/PRs to take an inbound PCR test within 72 hours before arrival in Singapore,” ICA said.
Indeed, a PR recently arrived from India confirmed this. He said he did not need to take any pre-departure PCR Test for COVID-19, before arriving in Singapore through Air India.
6 million new cases in India this month
According to news reports today (29 Apr), India’s COVID-19 infections have crossed the 18 million mark with almost 380,000 new cases, breaking another world record for new daily infections. This month alone, India has added more than 6 million new cases.
The explosion in infections has overwhelmed hospitals with dire shortages of beds, drugs and oxygen.
India is trying to vaccinate as many as it can currently. However, it has been reported that India does not have the stocks for the estimated 600 million eligible people for its vaccination program. Many who tried to sign up said they failed, complaining on social media that they could not get a slot or they simply could not get online to register as the website repeatedly crashed.
“Statistics indicate that far from crashing or performing slowly, the system is performing without any glitches,” the government said however.
The crisis is particularly severe in New Delhi, with people dying outside packed hospitals where three people are often forced to share a bed.
Delhi is reporting one death from COVID-19 every four minutes and ambulances have been taking the bodies to makeshift crematorium facilities in parks and parking lots, where bodies are burnt.
The World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update that India accounted for 38 per cent of the 5.7 million cases reported worldwide to it last week.
Given the dire situation in India, shouldn’t anyone who comes back from India should also take the pre-departure PCR test for COVID-19 too, in order to minimise risk of infection to Singapore’s front-line workers at the airport?