Changi Airport Cluster Increases To 18 Covid-19 Cases

With the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Covid-19 cluster still fresh on our minds, we now have to comprehend the emergence of another potentially large one — Changi Airport.

7 of the 13 community cases on Tuesday (11 May) were linked to it, along with the Victoria Junior College (VJC) student who tested positive on 7 May.

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3 of the 6 other cases currently have no links to previous patients or existing clusters.

Now with 18 cases in total, the Changi Airport cluster is our second largest after TTSH.

8 more cases linked to Changi Airport cluster

In an update on 11 May, the Ministry of Health (MOH) detailed all 13 new community cases that day.

Among them were 7 individuals who either worked at Changi Airport or are close contacts of cases from there.

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Here’s a closer look at the 7 cases:

  • 63059: 63-year-old cleaner at Changi Aiport T3. Had cough & flu-like symptoms on 7 May but didn’t get medical treatment. Swabbed on 9 May as part of routine staff testing, results came back positive on 10 May.
  • 63060: 55-year-old wife of an aviation officer who worked at T1 & T3 and tested positive on 7 May. Tested positive on 10 May while on quarantine.
  • 63061: 43-year-old household contact of a cleaner at T3 who tested positive on 8 May. Was swabbed while on quarantine and her results came back positive on 10 May.
  • 63070: 56-year-old cleaner at T3 Kopitiam & Happy Hawkers at 267 Compassvale Link. Developed a cough & sore throat on 9 May and sought medical treatment after work that day. Tested positive on 10 May.
  • 63071: 46-year-old close contact of a cleaner at T3 who tested positive on 8 May (ref. Case 63061). Developed a fever on quarantine and tested positive on 10 May.
  • 63072: 40-year-old premises maintenance officer at T3 & close contact of a cleaner there who tested positive on 9 May. Tested positive on 10 May while quarantined.
  • 63074: 33-year-old household contact of an aviation officer who tested positive on 10 May. Swabbed while on quarantine and her results came back positive on 10 May.

MOH also confirmed that another earlier case, a VJC student who tested positive on 7 May, has links to the Changi Airport cluster too.

She had been at the Kopitiam at T3 on 3 May, the same day that 2 previous cases had been there while infectious. MOH thus concluded that she was likely infected there.

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The 18-year-old had also visited Raffles Medical at T3 on 3 separate occasions prior — 23 Apr, 30 Apr, and 3 May.

Changi Airport now the 2nd largest cluster in Singapore

The 8 new cases linked to the cluster bring Changi Airport’s total to 18, placing it in 2nd place after TTSH, which has 43.

Following the emergence of the cluster, Basement 2 of T3 has been closed temporarily since Monday (10 May), reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

As a precaution, workers at T1, T3, and Jewel Changi will undergo Covid-19 swab tests.

Routine testing will also commence for all airport frontline staff every 14 days.

Hope infection clusters will be contained

The surfacing of more clusters and consequently community cases is indeed worrying.

Hopefully, contact tracing efforts have been effective in containing possible infections as close contacts are placed on quarantine immediately.

How the situation will develop is uncertain, but we have faith that Singapore will have it under control.

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Featured image adapted from Shawn Ang on Unsplash.