3 more inmates at Changi Prison test positive for COVID-19
SINGAPORE: Inmates and employees from a COVID-19-affected section at Changi Prison Complex will undergo repeated testing, after three more inmates tested positive for the virus, said the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) on Wednesday (May 19),
The inmates worked at the same prison kitchen as Case 63160, a SATS food worker who tested positive for COVID-19 on May 13. The kitchen is located at Institution A5 in Cluster A of the prison.
The new cases takes the Changi Prison cluster to seven cases. Another inmate – Case 63253 – who also worked at the same kitchen, tested positive for the infection on May 14. The remaining two cases in the cluster are household contacts of the SATS food worker.
The three new cases have been quarantined in their cells since May 13 after being identified as close contacts of the SATS cook.
SPS said that there is currently no indication that the virus has spread beyond the prison kitchen.
SPS has conducted COVID-19 tests on about 5,000 inmates, staff members and vendors from Cluster A of the prison, all of which have returned negative.
“All other inmates and staff from Institution A5 have tested negative for their second PCR test,” said SPS, adding that they will continue to undergo repeated testing in the coming days.
“SPS will continue to review and implement the necessary measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our inmates, staff and partners,” it said.
READ: About 5,000 inmates, staff to be tested for COVID-19 after cook at Changi Prison tests positive
INMATES WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
Following being quarantined in their cells on May 13, the three inmates’ first test on May 14 returned negative for COVID-19. They then underwent a second test on May 17.
On May 18, the inmates’ COVID-19 test results returned positive. They were immediately transferred to the quarantine centre located at Selarang Park Complex. The centre is where COVID-19 positive inmates are quarantined for close monitoring by a medical team, and is located outside of Changi Prison Complex.
On the same day, two of the inmates, a 46-year-old and a 28-year-old, developed a fever, while the third, a 56-year-old, developed a cough.
“The three inmates are currently well,” said SPS.
“They will only be transferred back to the general inmate population when they have recovered from the infection.”
In addition to the three inmates, one other inmate also tested “presumptive positive” on the same day, said SPS.
The inmate is currently undergoing further confirmation tests. He had also worked at the prison kitchen at Institution A5 and is a cellmate of the three confirmed cases.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a total of 34 new COVID-19 cases in the community.