Sunday, May 30, 2021

Indian national not infected with COVID-19 at Changi Airport in Singapore: Health ministry

Singapore: A 32-year-old Indian national who arrived here on April 25 from Nepal could not have been infected with COVID-19 at the Changi airport as there is no phylogenetic link between her case and those infected in the airport’s Terminal 3 cluster, officials said.

Singapore’s health ministry said on Friday that its investigations have confirmed that there is no phylogenetic link between the Sonal Wadde case and those in the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster.

Phylogenetic testing helps to determine if infections are related.

Wadde, who arrived here as a dependant’s pass holder, had said that she felt safer in India, according to a report by The Straits Times.

The matter came to the fore after a screenshot of her response to a question on Facebook that she was infected “most probably” at Changi Airport circulated online.

“This was because two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests I took before boarding the flight to Singapore and upon arrival had been negative,” she wrote in the comment section, which was picked up by several online news websites.

It is unclear when she posted the comment, or what question she was responding to, said the Singapore English daily.

“A negative pre-departure test or on-arrival test does not necessarily mean that a person is free from COVID-19, as one could be incubating the virus from an exposure prior to taking the tests,” the newspaper quoted the health ministry as saying.

The Changi Airport cluster is currently the largest active cluster with 108 cases linked to it as on Thursday.

Wadde is an imported case who was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on May 2, the ministry said, adding that she tested positive during her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility.

30/05/21 Daily Excelsior

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