COVID-19: Singapore reports one preliminarily positive case for B117 strain


SINGAPORE – One of the community cases reported in Singapore on Wednesday is tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus that is circulating in the UK.

In its full data released late last night, the republic’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said it involved a 24 year-old male Korean national, who is a work permit holder working at Azur, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, 75 Airport Boulevard.

Labelled as Case 59028, the ministry said his job entails delivering pre-packed meals to air crew and hotel guests but does not interact with diners at Azur.

The MOH said he was tested positive for a pooled swab during Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) on Jan 2, and was tested again two days later which he started to develop acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms.

His individual test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Jan 5, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, it said.

“His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests,” said the ministry.

As at noon Wednesday, the republic reported a total of 31 new cases, two in the community and 29 imported, thus bringing the total tally to 58,780.

The two cases in the community, including Case 59028, are currently unlinked.

Of the total new cases, 30 were asymptomatic, and were detected from the ministry’s proactive screening and surveillance, while one was symptomatic.

Singapore which closed the last coronavirus cluster, a migrant worker dormitory, on Nov 24, 2020, now has three clusters with one linked to the NewOcean 6, a bunker tanker operated by Palmstone Tankers & Trdg Pte Ltd in the Port of Singapore.