2 Covid-19 Cases Who Arrived From South Africa Confirmed With Omicron Variant

Last week, MOH reported that 2 travellers who arrived from South Africa had tested “preliminarily positive” for the Omicron variant.

Since then, the National Public Health Laboratory has performed whole-genome sequencing to confirm that the cases have been infected with the new strain.

On Monday (6 Dec), MOH confirmed that both patients have indeed contracted the Omicron variant.

The 2 patients are fully vaccinated and only have mild symptoms like a cough and scratchy throat.

2 Covid-19 cases confirmed with Omicron variant on 6 Dec

MOH confirmed in a press release on Monday (6 Dec) evening that 2 cases who arrived from South Africa were infected with the Omicron variant.

This comes after the National Public Health Laboratory concluded whole-genome sequencing for the cases.

Known as Case 271487 and Case 271598, the patients comprise a 44-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) and a 41-year-old Singaporean.

Both cases had tested negative before departing for Singapore.

After arriving in Singapore on 1 Dec, both underwent a PCR test and were conveyed to Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facilities for isolation. They were brought to NCID upon testing positive for Covid-19.

Given the strict quarantine rules they were subjected to, both individuals did not interact in the community.

Both are fully vaccinated and only have mild symptoms of cough and scratchy throat.

3rd Covid-19 case test preliminarily positive for new strain

Apart from the pair, Singapore detected its 3rd Omicron variant case last Saturday (4 Dec), involving a 37-year-old Singapore PR known as Case 273611.

S’pore PR Tests Preliminarily Positive For Omicron Variant, Was On Same Flight As 2 Cases

The PR had travelled on the same flight as the 2 confirmed Omicron variant cases from South Africa.

While PCR tests administered on 1 and 3 Dec produced negative results, a subsequent test done on 4 Dec – following symptoms of fever and sore throat – returned positive.

MOH reported that the National Public Health Laboratory would be conducting whole-genome sequencing for the case to confirm the variant.

Hope measures will prevent spread in community

Given how infectious the Omicron variant is, it’s arguably a matter of time before it arrives on our shores.

As such, the confirmation of the strain is not entirely expected. Minister Gan Kim Yong had also preempted Singaporeans in a press conference previously.

Nonetheless, we hope the isolation measures in place will help reduce the chance of it spreading in the community.

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Featured image adapted by MS News.