See More on Facebook


Coronavirus: 8 new cases in Singapore, including 5 more linked to Grace Assembly church, 1 linked to DBS case

The last new case is a 30-year-old Singaporean man who is a family member of case 50, the 62-year-old male DBS Bank employee who was confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday.

Written by

Updated: February 14, 2020

 Eight more cases of the coronavirus with links to previous ones have been confirmed in Singapore, bringing the total number of infected people to 58.

Five of the new cases are linked to the Grace Assembly of God church, including a 54-year-old man who is a professor, from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment (SDE).

The Ministry of Health said on Thursday (Feb 13) that the professor did not interact with colleagues and students after he fell ill.

The cluster is now linked to seven confirmed cases, including the church’s senior pastor Wilson Teo. Two earlier cases, both staff at the church, were announced on Wednesday.

Another two new cases are Bangladeshi work pass holders, aged 30 and 37, who are linked to a worksite in Seletar Aerospace Heights. They are cases 52 and 56.

The worksite is now linked to a cluster of four cases, all of whom are Bangladeshi nationals.

He is case 55.

None of the new cases has recent travel history to China. They are all currently warded in isolation rooms at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Of the five linked to the Grace Assembly of God church, two were confirmed to have the virus on Wednesday afternoon, and the other three tested positive on Thursday morning. All five are Singaporeans.

They include four men, aged 26, 48, 54 and 55, and one 54-year-old woman.

Case 51, the 48-year-old man, fell ill on Feb 4 and saw a GP on Feb 5 and 10. He went to the NCID on Feb 11.

Before being hospitalised, he went to work at both of the church’s locations, in Tanglin Road and Bukit Batok West.

In a statement to the church’s congregants, the man identified himself as Mr Wilson Teo, a senior pastor.

He noted that he is recovering well and that all staff members of the church have been issued home quarantine orders by the MOH.

Both the church’s premises at Tanglin and Bukit Batok will be closed from Feb 14 to Feb 25 and reopen on Feb 26 pending further updates, he said.

Case 53, the 54-year-old NUS professor, fell ill on Feb 10 and went to the NCID on Feb 12. He tested positive the same day.

In a message to NUS staff and students, the university’s president Tan Eng Chye said the professor, who attends the Grace Assembly of God church, is in stable condition and in good spirits.

His last contact with students was on Feb 5, said Prof Tan.

As a precaution, e-learning will be conducted for all students at the SDE from Friday, Prof Tan added. There will be no in-person classes, tests, meetings or other interactions between students and staff of the school until Feb 21.

The week after, from Feb 22 to Mar 1, is a break period, or recess week.

It is unclear if the other three cases linked to the church – cases 54, 57 and 58 – are congregants or workers. Two previous cases in the cluster, cases 48 and 49, were both church workers who visited both locations.

One of the Bangladeshis confirmed to be infected on Thursday, case 52, fell ill on Feb 7.

He reported that he had mostly stayed in his rental apartment in Campbell Lane since he fell sick.

The 37-year-old was identified as a close contact of the two previously identified Bangladeshi work pass holders, who both worked at the Seletar Aerospaces Heights worksite.

The MOH also said on Thursday that Singapore will continue to rely on laboratory tests to confirm cases of infection.

It added that it would not change its approach to confirming cases of the virus despite the Chinese authorities adopting new broader guidelines, including the use of CT scans and clinical diagnosis of symptoms.

New diagnostic guidelines for confirming cases in China kicked in on Wednesday, allowing doctors to assess patients clinically and diagnose cases.

This means a patient can be confirmed to be suffering from Covid-19, as the disease is called, if they have symptoms of severe respiratory tract disease and a CT scan shows lesions in their lungs.

Previously, cases would only be confirmed after laboratory tests.

The number of confirmed cases in China’s Hubei province spiked after the new guidelines were adopted.

The death toll in Hubei also rose by 242 to 1,310 as of Wednesday after figures were revised to include cases that have not been lab-confirmed.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


EDITORIAL: Mr Trump in India

US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. The diplomatic irony has been rather exceptionally bitter. Donald Trump’s 36-hour visit to India was somewhat pushed out of focus by the communal flare-up that has overwhelmed parts of Delhi, with the death toll rising to 27 till Thursday afternoon. And yet the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. And unlike some previous US Presidents, Mr Trump chose not to follow up his visit to India with another to Pakistan… as often as not to sing a different piece. No, he hasn

By The Statesman
February 28, 2020


As Covid-19 spreads, public health officials consider plans for a worst-case scenario

 Department of Health Services has a Plan B for a few infections but its Plan C envisions shutting down all schools, public transport and gatherings in case of a mass outbreak. While Covid-19 coronavirus infections have significantly slowed in China, they are rapidly spreading around the globe, prompting countries to step up measures to control the spread and the UN 

By The Kathmandu Post
February 28, 2020


Vietnam reaffirms support for nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has reaffirmed Vietnam’s strong support for the realisation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on three pillars. During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NPT, Ambassador Quy affirmed that Vietnam has joined all international efforts regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including regional and global conventions; complied with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest safety standards; and strictly followed the UNSC’s resolutions. He said any intentional, unintentional or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons seriously threatened global peace and

By Viet Nam News
February 28, 2020


Budget debate: Coronavirus concerns present long-term opportunities, say MPs

Many have little savings to see them though a work drought, she said, noting that a number of events and work assignments have been cancelled or deferred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While the coronavirus outbreak has battered businesses, it has also created opportunities to better prepare Singapore for future challenges, MPs said on Thursday (Feb 27). Speaking on Day 2 of the debate on the Budget statement, they said these include getting more firms to adopt e-commerce, diversifying supply sources and making flexible work arrangements permanent for working parents and caregivers. A total of 54 MPs, including political office holders, spoke over two days on various aspects of the Budget. USING TODAY’S CRISIS TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTU

By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020


Coronavirus: 2 new cases confirmed; 4 more, including private hospital doctor, discharged

 Two patients from the Grace Assembly of God cluster, cases 49 and 73, were also discharged.  Two new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Feb 26) and four others have recovered and were discharged. This brings the total number of cases here to 93, of which 62 have fully recovered. Case 59, the private hospital doctor, was among the four discharged. The 61-year-old Singaporean was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 13 and had been warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is not linked to any of the five known clusters but is a non-medical contact of case 72, a 40-year-old man from China who holds a Singapore work pass. Case 56, a Banglad

By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020


Japan provides protective gear for use in battling coronavirus

 The government of Japan has given personal protective supplies to the Ministry of Health to help medical staff if they are required to care for people infected with the coronavirus. The items were handed over at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday by the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takewaka Keizo, to Minister of Health Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong. The supplies comprised 4,680 isolation gowns, 6,100 gloves, 6,000 N95 masks, 13,200 surgical masks, 27 goggles, and 240 bottles of alcohol hand rub. Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong thanked the government of Japan for its assistance, saying “On behalf of Laos, we would like to express our appreciation to the government of Japan for its continuing support to our country.” The ministry has been st

By Vientiane Times
February 27, 2020