3rd Day In A Row That Ex-Mandarin Orchard SHN Guest Tests Positive For Covid-19
On 19 Dec, it was announced that Mandarin Orchard Hotel had suspended operations till 1 Jan, prompting many people to cut short their staycations.
The shocking move was made after it was revealed that 13 Covid-19 cases who had served their Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at the hotel may have been infected there instead of overseas.
A few days later, on Christmas Day, 1 former Mandarin Orchard SHN guest was reported to be positive. Then, another one was reported on Boxing Day.
Most recently, a 3rd Covid-19 case has been detected among former SHN hotel guests, amid fears that the possible cluster will get larger.
Genetic similarities in infected people whose SHN was at hotel
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), high genetic similarities were found between 13 cases of Covid-19, despite them arriving from different countries.
They all had served their SHNs at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between 22 Oct and 11 Nov.
They also tested positive for Covid-19 from 2 Nov to 11 Nov.
Thus, these details suggest that the 13 were likely infected from a “similar source”.
5 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore on 27 Dec
On Sunday (27 Dec), 5 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Singapore.
While all of them were classified as imported cases as they had recent travel history, one of them had formerly served her SHN at Mandarin Orchard.
Thus, MOH said investigations are ongoing to determine whether she’s linked to the aforementioned 13 cases.
It also marked the 3rd day in a row that 1 new Covid-19 case had served part of their SHN at the hotel.
3rd case is 23-year-old female Malaysian
The case in question is a 23-year-old female Malaysian work-permit holder who had returned from Malaysia, according to an MOH press release.
She served the 1st part of her SHN at Mandarin Orchard Hotel, before being moved somewhere else on 20 Dec.
She tested negative for Covid-19 on 19 Dec, before being moved, and again on 21 Dec, after the move.
However, when she completed her SHN on 24 Dec, she was tested once more and this time, it was positive.
She was sent to hospital the next day, and another test conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) also came back positive.
She was deemed to be case 58762.
Some details similar to previous 2 cases
Interestingly, some of her details are similar to those of the 2 previous Mandarin Orchard SHN guests who tested positive.
They are a 47-year-old male permanent resident from the Philippines (Case 58746) and 37-year-old male short-term visit pass holder from Lebanon (Case 58754).
All 3 cases were moved out of Mandarin Orchard on 20 Dec, and were tested on 19 Dec and 21 Dec — they all came back negative.
However, all 3 of them ended their SHN on 24 Dec and tested positive on that day too.
Like the Lebanese man, the Malaysian woman’s serological test has also come back negative, indicating that their infections are recent. The PR’s serological test result hasn’t been revealed yet.
Curiously, the NPHL took a 2nd sample from the Malaysian woman on 26 Dec, and it came back negative.
Number of infected getting bigger
We’ll leave it to the experts to interpret the results of the 3 cases, since they have many similarities but also a few differences.
What’s most concerning is that the number of former SHN guests at Mandarin Orchard who’re infected is getting bigger day by day.
There’s no data on how many former SHN guests at other hotels have tested positive, so we can’t tell whether the statistics for Mandarin Orchard are higher than normal or not.
Hopefully, the authorities get to the bottom of this quickly and inform the public whether a possible cluster has formed or not.
MS News wishes the infected cases a quick recovery.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.