The Ministry of Health in Singapore has confirmed 6 new cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the island nation as of 2.00 pm on February 4, bringing the total number of infected in the country to 24.
Four out of these six new cases involve human-to-human transmission - a first for Singapore.
“Though four of these cases constitute a local transmission cluster, there is as yet no evidence of widespread sustained community transmission in Singapore,” said the MOH press release.
The 2019 novel coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China has killed over 400 people - most in mainland China, with one death each in the Philippines and Hong Kong. There are over 20,000 people infected with the disease globally with the infection having spread to more than 25 countries outside of mainland China.
In some positive news, one of Singapore's earlier confirmed cases, Case 7, a 35 year old male Wuhan resident, has been discharged from NCID today. He has recovered, and has comprehensively tested negative for the virus.
6 new Singapore cases
Case 19: A 28 year-old female Singapore resident with no recent travel history to China. She works at Yong Thai Hang at 24 Cavan Road, a complementary health products shop that primarily serves Chinese tourists.
She reported developing sore throat and fever on January 29, and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on the same day. On January 30, she went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s emergency department, and was discharged when her chest x-ray came back negative for pneumonia. She said that she had not left her home at Jalan Bukit Merah from January 31 to February 2.
On February 3, she went to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) where she was classified as suspect case as she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was immediately isolated and subsequently diagnosed with the 2019-nCoV infection.
She is currently warded in an isolation room at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
Case 20: A 48 year-old female Singapore resident with no recent travel history to China. She is a colleague of Case 19 and stays at Hougang Street 61. She reported onset of symptoms on January 25.
On February 3, she went to NCID. As she is a colleague of Case 19, she was classified as a suspect case and immediately isolated with subsequent test results confirming 2019-nCoV infection.
She is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
Case 21: A 44 year-old female Indonesian national with no recent travel history to China. She is Case 19’s foreign domestic worker, and resides at Jalan Bukit Merah.
She reported onset of symptoms on February 2. As a close contact of Case 19, she was admitted to SGH emergency department on February 3 with subsequent test results confirming 2019-nCoV infection. She reported that she had not left her place of residence since onset of symptoms.
She is currently warded in an isolation room at SGH.
Cases 22 & 23: Singapore residents evacuated from Wuhan on January 30. They were asymptomatic when they boarded the flight, and were put under quarantine upon landing in Singapore.
As an added precaution, all Singaporeans evacuated from Wuhan were tested for 2019-nCoV with these two cases testing positive on February 3 despite continuing to show no symptoms.
They are now warded in isolation rooms at NCID.
Case 24: A 32 year-old female Singapore resident with no recent travel history to China. She is a tourist guide who had brought tour groups to Yong Thai Hang at 24 Cavan Road, the shop of which cases 19 and 20 are employees.
She was asymptomatic when she went to NCID on February 3, where she was immediately isolated with subsequent test results confirming 2019-nCoV infection.
She is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
Aside from the above cases, the MOH has also said that Malaysia has today announced a case involving a 42 year-old male Malaysian national who was in Singapore from January 16 to 23 for a business meeting at Grand Hyatt Hotel, which involved Chinese nationals.
The man had an onset of symptoms after his return to Malaysia, and subsequently tested positive for 2019-nCoV on February 3.
The MOH has said that they have initiated epidemiological investigations and contact tracing to identify individuals who had close contact with the cases.