SINGAPORE, Dec 31– Singapore reported two preliminarily positive cases for the B117 strain, a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus that is circulating in the UK, according to the republic’s Ministry of Health (MOH).

In its full data released on Wednesday, MOH said the first case labelled as 58811 is a 40-year old Singaporean man who works as a pilot with Singapore Airlines.

He recently travelled to the UK for work for three days from Dec 19 and was tested on Dec 23 as part of Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) for aircrew who travel frequently, and his test came back negative for COVID-19 infection.

On Dec 26, he developed a fever and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day where he was swabbed.

He tested positive for COVID-19 three days later and was referred to National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

“His serological test result has come back negative, indicating a likely current infection. He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain,” said the ministry, adding that further tests will be conducted to confirm the strain.

Meanwhile, MOH said the second case labelled as 58809 is a work pass holder who arrived from the UK on Dec 7 and was placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at a dedicated facility upon arrival in Singapore.

The 53-year old man from the UK ended his SHN on Dec 21 but started to develop body ache the next day and Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms on Dec 25.

“He sought medical treatment three days later and was swabbed for COVID-19. His test result came back positive on Dec 29 and he was referred to NCID.

 “His serological test result has come back positive. He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests,” said the ministry.

As at noon yesterday, the republic reported a total of 27 new cases bringing the total tally to 58,569.


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