Filipina linked to coronavirus cases in Singapore firm
SINGAPORE – The second Filipino novel coronavirus patient in Singapore is linked to a cluster of cases involving an e-learning company here, said the city-state’s Ministry of Health (MOH).
The Filipino patient is an anonymous female 41-year-old domestic worker who had no recent travel history to China and to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea. Identified only as novel coronavirus Case 102, she tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, on Saturday, February 29.
Her employer, an anonymous 61-year-old Singaporean, was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 also on Saturday. The Singaporean employer, who is Case 101, had no recent travel history to China, Daegu, and Cheongdo.
The Filipina's employer is linked, however, to Case 93, who had earlier been linked to the COVID-19 cases involving Wizlearn Technologies Pte Ltd, an e-learning company in Singapore.
This information is based on Singapore's methodical and meticulous contact tracing of novel coronavirus patients, allowing them to determine how patients contracted COVID-19 based on their close contacts.
The MOH said 8 of Singapore's 102 novel coronavirus cases, including the Filipina and her employer, are linked to Wizlearn Technologies. Both the Filipina and her employer are confined in Singapore's Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
The Philippine embassy has not been informed of the Filipina's identity as of late Saturday evening, said Ambassador Joseph Yap. Following the city-state's privacy laws, Singaporean authorities do not disclose the identities of patients without their consent, according to the embassy.
First Filipino case still unlinked
A day before the Filipina tested positive for COVID-19, the first Filipino novel coronavirus patient in Singapore was discharged from the hospital. The patient, whom the Philippine embassy has not identified, did not reach out to the embassy during his confinement. (READ: Filipino coronavirus patient in Singapore discharged)
The first Filipino case, identified only as Case 89, is a 41-year-old permanent resident of the city-state. He is among only 10 patients whom the Singaporean government has not linked to previous COVID-19 cases.
The Philippine embassy in Singapore said it is ready to help Filipinos affected by COVID-19, even as the Singaporean government vowed to shoulder the hospital expenses of all local and foreign COVID-19 patients in the city-state. (READ: Singapore leaders take pay cut, give health workers bonus amid coronavirus)
The embassy, meanwhile, warned Filipinos against joining large gatherings, as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"In view of reports that large Filipino gatherings continue to be held in Singapore, the Philippine embassy strongly reiterates its reminder to the Filipino community in Singapore to avoid such large gatherings as well as other crowded places in support of the Singapore government's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19," said the Philippine embassy.
"Filipino domestic workers are also strongly reminded to follow the advice of the Singapore government to arrange or coordinate properly their rest days with their employers to ensure that concrete steps are taken to protect their households from COVID-19 infection," the embassy added. – Rappler.com