Most Passengers Arriving In Singapore From India Are Returning Citizens & PRs
With fears mounting about the Covid-19 situation, authorities have been looking into the origins of the B1617 variant in Singapore.
On Sunday (23 May), the government announced that the family suspected of seeding the Changi Airport Covid-19 cluster did not arrive from India.
As of now, only 1 flight travels between Singapore and India.
An average of 25 passengers arrive in Singapore daily. Most are returning Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs).
Family that seeded Changi Airport cluster did not arrive from India
On 21 May, preliminary investigations found that the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster may have been seeded by a South Asia family who arrived on 29 Apr.
A Changi Airport worker assisting them later led to the spread of the virus.
Yesterday (23 May), authorities clarified that the family did not arrive from India, reported The Straits Times (ST).
This would not have been possible as India banned all international commercial flights to and from Singapore since Mar 2020.
The only details known now is that the family arrived on a flight from a South Asian country.
Most passengers arriving from India are citizens & PRs
On Sunday (23 May), the Transport, Foreign Affairs, and Manpower Ministries issued a joint statement saying that only 1 passenger flight currently operates between Singapore and India.
It is operated by Vande Bharat, chartered by the Indian government to bring back their citizens.
Those in India who need to return to Singapore are also allowed to take the outbound flight because these are the only available passenger flights to Singapore.
All such flights operate out of Terminal 1.
Currently, about 180 passengers depart back to India daily, while Singapore sees an average of 25 daily arrivals on these flights.
A vast majority of passengers are returning Singapore citizens as well as Permanent Residents.
As of now, Singapore Airlines only operates cargo flights to India.
All passengers arriving at Changi Airport will need to undergo 2 Covid-19 tests upon arrival before serving Stay-Home Notice (SHN) for 21 days.
B1617 Covid-19 variant concerns
The joint statement by the ministries comes as concerns grow over the B1617 Covid-19 variant from India, which can now be found in the Singapore community.
Authorities detected the B1617 variant in the initial batch of airport workers who were tested, reported ST.
Currently, the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster has 108 linked Covid-19 cases.
It is still growing, with 3 cases added on Sunday (23 May). It is Singapore’s largest cluster to date.
Curbing community transmissions requires cooperation from everyone
The news confirms suspicions that the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster originated from imported cases.
Nonetheless, authorities are working to tighten our airport’s defences and take the necessary precautions.
Curbing further transmissions will also take the cooperation of every one of us, so do adhere to safety measures and stay home as much as we can.
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Featured image adapted from Unsplash.