SINGAPORE: Singapore today detected two imported Covid-19 cases testing preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant, according to the republic’s Ministry of Health (MOH).

The MOH said both cases were isolated upon arrival in Singapore on Dec 1, and had not interacted in the community.

“There is currently no evidence of any community transmission from these cases,” it said in a statement today.

The ministry said the cases are currently recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

“Both are fully vaccinated, and have mild symptoms of cough and scratchy throat,” it said.

MOH said the two cases arrived from Johannesburg on board SQ479 on Dec 1.

Labeled as Case 271487, the first case is a 44 year-old male Singapore Permanent Resident who arrived in Singapore from Mozambique, transiting through Johannesburg.

His pre-departure test in Mozambique on Nov 29 was negative for Covid-19 infection, it said.

The second case labelled as Case 271598, meanwhile, is a 41 year-old female Singaporean who arrived in Singapore from South Africa.

Her pre-departure test in Johannesburg on Nov 29 was negative for Covid-19 infection, said MOH.

“They had undergone a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, and were immediately conveyed to a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) dedicated facility to be isolated while awaiting their test results,” said MOH.

Upon confirmation of Covid-19 infection, the ministry said they were conveyed to NCID.

MOH said their PCR test results have revealed the presence of S-gene Target Failure which may be associated with the Omicron variant.

“The National Public Health Laboratory is conducting whole-genome sequencing to confirm the variant,” it said.

MOH noted that contact tracing is ongoing.

“All 19 other passengers who came in on the same flight have tested negative for Covid-19 infection.

“These individuals were all quarantined under SHN at designated facilities upon arrival and are subjected to a testing regime which includes an on-arrival PCR test and a SHN exit PCR test,” it said.

Other close contacts of these cases, if any, will be placed on 10-day quarantine at designated facilities and undergo PCR tests at the start and end of their quarantine, said the ministry.

All patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant will be conveyed to NCID for isolation and clinical management.

Home recovery will not apply, said MOH.-Bernama