Indian national reinfected with COVID-19 infects two relatives in Singapore

Gurdip Singh
·3-min read

Singapore, Apr 21 (PTI) A 43-year-old Indian national who tested positive on arrival in Singapore on April 2 and was discharged from a hospital four days later after being deemed to be no longer infectious has been identified by health authorities as a likely case of reinfection after he infected two of his relatives.

The Indian, who has not been identified, has infected two of his relatives, prompting the Ministry of Health (MOH) to open a new local cluster around the three cases.

A cluster is considered the point of spreading the disease.

The two cases he has been linked to are his 41-year old sister-in-law who is an accountant and her 44-year-old husband who is a restaurant manager at two eateries here, the MOH said on Tuesday.

They were reported as community cases on April 16 and April 18 respectively.

The man, who arrived from India, is here on a work pass and was classified as an imported case when he tested positive for the virus on April 2 in an on-arrival swab test, and was taken to a hospital.

He was then discharged on April 6 without being required to isolate, as he was deemed to be no longer infectious, the MOH said.

Eleven days later, on April 17, the man was tested for COVID-19 after being identified as a close contact of his sister-in-law.

His polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and serology test both came back positive.

In a release on Tuesday night, the ministry, in consultation with an expert panel that comprises infectious diseases and microbiology experts, said it assessed that he was likely to have been reinfected with COVID-19 recently.

It said, 'With the emergence of new variants of concern around the world, we will closely monitor for reinfection of recovered COVID-19 cases, and are reviewing our border measures for recovered travellers.

'Similar imported cases suspected of reinfection will be isolated and undergo repeat COVID-19 PCR tests to monitor the trend of their viral loads, to ensure that such cases are detected promptly.' On Tuesday, the Ministry said entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens and non-permanent residents are being reduced with immediate effect, in response to the worsening COVID-19 situation in India and the emergence of new virus variants.

From 11.59 pm (local time) on Thursday, all travellers from India will also have to serve an additional seven-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at their place of residence, following the usual 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility, reported The Straits Times.

Those who have yet to complete their 14-day SHN by that time will also have to serve the extra seven days.

This is not the first case of COVID-19 reinfection in Singapore.

On January 25, a 28-year old Bangladeshi national, working here, tested positive for the virus after having recovered from it in June last year. PTI GS AMS AKJ AMS