Domestic worker in Singapore first Indonesian with confirmed Wuhan coronavirus infection

Coronavirus patients at Wuhan Central Hospital. Photo: Wuhan Central Hospital/Weibo
Coronavirus patients at Wuhan Central Hospital. Photo: Wuhan Central Hospital/Weibo

An Indonesian national is confirmed to have been infected with the deadly Wuhan coronavirus (also known as 2019-nCoV) in Singapore. As announced by the country’s Ministry of Health yesterday, she is one of six latest confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection and among the first that constituted limited local transmission in the country. 

Identified as Case 21, the Indonesian woman is a 44-year-old domestic worker who works for Case 19, a 28-year-old Singapore permanent resident. 

Case 19 is believed to have been infected through human-to-human transmission, as she works at a health products shop that primarily serves Chinese tourists but has no recent travel history to China. She reported developing sore throat and fever on Jan. 29, and didn’t leave her home between Friday and Sunday. On Monday, she was diagnosed with pneumonia at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), classified as a suspect case and was immediately put into isolation. 

Likewise, Case 21, who also has no travel history to China, reported that she had not left her place of residence since the onset of symptoms on Sunday. As a close contact of her employer, she was admitted to SGH’s emergency department on Monday. Both women are currently warded in an isolation room at the hospital. 

The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said in a statement yesterday that they haven’t received the worker’s identity from Singapore’s Ministry of Health due to the country’s Personal Data Protection Act. The embassy urged Indonesian nationals in the country to exercise vigilance amid a growing number of confirmed infections recently.

The coronavirus has now infected more than 24,000 people and killed at least 491 in China, where the outbreak originated, according to Wednesday morning’s data from that nation’s health committees. There has been no confirmed cases on Indonesian soil thus far.

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