Singapore

First case of new Covid-19 strain from UK detected here

One case of a new coronavirus strain reported in the United Kingdom to be potentially more contagious has been detected here, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.

The patient is a 17-year-old Singaporean girl who had studied in the UK.

The Health Ministry said that with the B117 strain circulating in the UK, the National Public Health Laboratory is performing viral genomic sequencing for confirmed Covid-19 cases who arrived from Europe recently.

A total of 31 imported cases from Europe, who arrived in Singapore between Nov 17 and Dec 17, were confirmed to have Covid-19 infections this month.

Among them, 12 were not infected with the B117 strain, and one patient, identified as Case 58,504, has been found to be carrying the strain.

Five samples cannot be sequenced due to their low viral load, said MOH, which added it is pending confirmation of the results for another 11 cases who are preliminary positive for the B117 strain.

MOH said there is currently no evidence the B117 strain is circulating in the community.

The 17 year-old Singaporean girl who was infected with the B117 strain had been studying in the UK since August this year.

She returned to Singapore on Dec 6 and served a stay-home notice at a dedicated facility upon arrival. She developed a fever the next day, and was confirmed to have a Covid-19 infection on Dec 8, said MOH.

"As she had been isolated upon arrival in Singapore, we were able to ring-fence this case so that there was no further transmission arising from her," MOH said.

The multi-ministry task force combating Covid-19 announced on Tuesday that from 11.59pm yesterday, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the UK within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

Meanwhile, 21 new cases were announced here yesterday, all of which were imported. - THE STRAITS TIMES


By the numbers

21 New cases

0 New case in community

21 Imported cases

58,482 Total cases

29 Deaths

18 Discharged yesterday

34 In hospital

58,307 Total recovered

coronavirus