Singapore’s Japanese patient worked in same building as infected software company

Street view of 10 Science Park Road. Image: Google
Street view of 10 Science Park Road. Image: Google

Indonesia has stepped up precautionary measures in Bali and Batam after the country reported its first cases yesterday involving a mother and her daughter. 

New screening measures ordered along the archipelago’s porous borders come on the back of more cross-border transmissions complicated by Southeast Asia’s flow of travel and migration. Indonesia’s first cases were linked to an expat in Malaysia while Singapore recently confirmed infections among people who visited Batam. The virus has now reached every inhabited continent. 

In Singapore, another Filipino national tested positive for COVID-19 who was linked to a previous case. A Japanese national recently stricken by the disease on the island was revealed to be working in the same building as a software company linked to Singapore’s most recent infections.

First Indonesian domestically infected with coronavirus danced with Japanese friend in Jakarta on Feb. 14: Health Minister

The COVID-19 disease has hit more than 90,000 people in at least 64 countries, with South Korea, Italy, and Iran topping nations with the biggest outbreaks outside China, followed by Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and Singapore. 

Here are major COVID-19 updates since yesterday:

  • The leader of a South Korean religious sect where many infections spread has apologized for its role in that nations’ major outbreak. Seoul reported 600 new cases today, bringing total infections to nearly 5,000. 
  • More Hong Kongers will be repatriated from outbreak ground zero in Wuhan, China.
  • More countries including Portugal, Morocco, and Jordan have reported first cases in the past 24 hours.
  • The World Health Organization said it has shipped COVID-19 testing kits to 93 countries. Around 64 countries have reported coronavirus cases as of today. 

Updates from Coconuts’ newsrooms in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong:

Myanmar

  • Myanmar has canceled its annual Marian celebrations and rejected entry to The Silver Spirit cruise ship that was scheduled to dock in Yangon for four days due to coronavirus concerns. 
    • The ship is said to be carrying around 800 people including 483 tourists from 22 different countries. 
    • It last stopped in Phuket, Thailand. 

Singapore

  • Two more cases reported in Singapore yesterday involving another Filipino domestic worker linked to previous cases and an elderly Singaporean woman who recently visited Jakarta, Indonesia. 
  • The Japanese national recently confirmed with the infection works on the same floor as the software company linked to 13 new cases, the health ministry revealed. 
  • Total reported infections in Singapore stands at 108, of which, 78 have been discharged from hospitals. 
  • Six are in critical condition. 

COVID-19: Here’s every coronavirus infection in Singapore on a map

Malaysia

  • Malaysia is investigating whether former ministers have come into contact with a newly infected patient. 
    • An employee of Khazanah Nasional, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is said to be Malaysia’s 26th patient.
    • The employee had recently traveled to Shanghai, China, and reportedly attended a gathering with former ministers at a Kuala Lumpur hotel on Feb. 27, days before the Pakatan Harapan government collapsed. 
  • Indonesia’s first coronavirus patients came into contact with a Japanese national residing in Malaysia, the former’s health minister revealed yesterday.

Hong Kong

  • At least 450 Hong Kong residents stranded in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, are set to return to the city on government-chartered planes this week.
  • The city has also canceled its annual bun scrambling competition and reported its 101st case involving the brother of a woman whose dog tested positive for COVID-19.

Indonesia

  • Travelers arriving in Indonesia’s Batam city will face increased surveillance such as temperature scanning after several Singaporeans tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting there. 
  • Authorities in Bali is also stepping up precautionary measures by setting up a command post focusing on monitoring and containing the spread of the disease, Tempo reported. 

Manila

  • An additional 22 Filipinos who were infected on the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship have recovered and are awaiting repatriation, bringing the total number of Filipinos who recovered on the cruise ship to 32. A total of 80 Filipinos were originally confirmed with the infection. 
    • Recovered patients to undergo “strict monitoring” and no longer be quarantined. A health official said they tested negative for the virus twice before being discharged from Japanese hospitals. 
  • While no local COVID-19 transmissions have been reported, the Health Department continues to urge the public to avoid events that attract big crowds to minimize the chance of getting infected. 
    • Over this payday weekend, mall sale events have been canceled on the advice of the Health Department. 
      • “We just encourage. We cannot mandate at this point because we still do not have local transmissions,” Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Additional reporting Khyne Palumar, Vicky Wong.

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