S’porean Coronavirus Patient Ate CNY Lunch With 20 Colleagues, Was Diagnosed On Same Night

Lohei is a common activity during Chinese New Year (CNY) but might now be potentially ‘dangerous’ in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday (5 Feb), a 41-year-old Singaporean tested positive for the novel coronavirus after developing symptoms a week before.

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Interestingly, mainstream media reports later suggest that the patient allegedly had a lohei lunch with over 20 colleagues at a Jurong restaurant on 28 Jan.

As such, at least 8 of his colleagues present during the meal are currently under quarantine orders, reports The Straits Times (ST).

Lohei might have infected the coronavirus patient

According to ST, the man started having a fever after he got home from work on 28 Jan night.

Earlier that day, he attended lunch at a Jurong restaurant near his office with about 20 other colleagues, even having a lohei in celebration for CNY.

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As the novel coronavirus is transmittable, having a lohei seems like a plausible way for the virus to spread.

After he tested positive, at least 8 of the patient’s colleagues are now on quarantine.

Interestingly, the 41-year-old had no travel history to China and links to other confirmed patients, as of MOH’s statement on 6 Feb.

3 visits to clinics before he was sent to the hospital

According to The Straits Times, the patient first visited an undisclosed clinic on 29 Jan.

He visited another clinic – Phoenix Medical Group – on 30 Jan and 3 Feb at Greenwich V in Seletar.

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During his visit on 3 Feb, he was referred to the emergency services and subsequently admitted at Mount Elizebeth Hospital Novena.

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According to Phoenix Medical Group, he did not go to the hospital on an ambulance as he did not ‘meet’ MOH requirements.

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In the same statement, the clinic management shared that the vicinity was thoroughly disinfected and the patient has since been transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

The doctor that attended to him is also taking a voluntary leave of absence until 17 Feb.

Community spread in Singapore calls for more mindfulness

We hope none of the colleagues that the patient dined with would test positive forr the virus.

Meanwhile, let this be a reminder to be mindful when sharing food, and if possible, keep our hands clean at all times.

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Featured image adapted from Teck Sang Online