6 New Wuhan Virus Cases in S’pore Today; 4 Were Locally Transmitted (i.e. Not Been to China)

In the last two days, we’ve been receiving good news from MOH: for two days in a row, there were no confirmed cases.

But today (4 February 2020), the worst occurred.

Well, let’s just hope that it’s indeed the worst.

Here’s what happened.

4 Locally Human-to-Human Transmissions Announced Today

After one reported case of a locally transmitted case in Malaysia and one case of a person getting infected in Thailand instead of China, Singapore unfortunately had bad news today, too.

Four people who had not been to China were confirmed to be infected with the Wuhan virus.

The cluster that caused it? A shop at Cavan Road, which is located somewhere in Lavender.

The shop, Yong Thai Heng, is a health product store that primarily serves Chinese tourists.

Apparently, a tour group from China had visited the store among other places on 23 January 2020. That was a day before Chinese New Year eve, and the day that the first Wuhan virus confirmed case was announced in Singapore.

The tour group had arrived in Singapore on 22 January 2020. They went to Malaysia between 24 January to 26 January, and came back to Singapore in the early hours of 27 January to take a flight off Changi Airport Terminal 1.

Unfortunately, one or a few of the people in the group carries the virus, and had passed it to three people.

Two of them work in Yong Thai Heng, and one of them is the group tour guide.

The first patient is a 28-year-old staff in the shop. She had a sore throat on 29 January 2020 and went to visit a GP. The next day, she was transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital A&E department but was discharged after her chest x-ray came back negative for pneumonia. She stayed home for the next three days, but went to Singapore General Hospital yesterday whereby she was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was tested positive yesterday for the virus at 11pm.

The other patient, a 48-year-old lady, also works in the shop. She had her first symptoms on 25 January, and went to NCID yesterday, whereby she was immediately isolated as a suspect since she had close contact with the first patient. She was tested positive this morning.

The third patient is a 32-year-old lady who was the tour guide of the group. She had exhibited no symptoms at all but was immediately isolated as a suspect due to her close proximity with the tour group and the two patients. This afternoon, she was tested positive.

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All these three patients are Singapore residents.

The shop is now closed.

The fourth confirmed case that’s related to the tour group is the first patient’s foreign domestic worker. The Indonesian had her first symptoms on 2 February, and was tested positive this afternoon as well.

2 More Confirmed Cases From the Scoot Flight

As you probably would know, Scoot brought 92 Singaporeans back to Singapore from Wuhan last Thursday. Two of them were sick upon landing and further tests showed that they were infected.

To play safe, the authorities decided to test the other 90 Singaporeans, who are all on quarantine, for the virus. 2 of them were tested positive despite having no symptoms at all.

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That means in total, 6 new cases were announced today, bringing the total confirmed cases in Singapore to 24. At this moment, other than China, only Thailand has more confirmed cases than us at 25 cases.

Remain Calm: It’s a Cluster and Not Widespread

The news seems gloomy, but this is expected.


According to MOH, this is still considered a “limited local transmission” and not a community spread. It’s, instead, a cluster transmission.

You can watch this to understand it better:

Think of it this way: during a dengue outbreak, there would often be a “cluster” that’s at high risk. It’s not exactly a good example but you get the gist: it’s not yet reached a community spread, as the authorities would “ring-fence the cluster and limit further spread.”

Also, at this moment, the authorities do know the source of the virus, so controlling it is possible.


Because of that, the Disease Outbreak Response System (Dors) remains at yellow.

But if there are many clusters and the Government can’t pinpoint the source (i.e. don’t know who spread to who), it’ll be moved to Orange, whereby there would be moderate disruption. Dors Red is when school would close and people would work at home.

In the meantime, stay vigilant. The fight has just begun.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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