Singapore has confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus variant found in the United Kingdom, the city-state said, while 11 others who were already in quarantine had returned preliminarily positive results for the new strain.
All the cases, which were imported from Europe, had been placed in 14-day quarantine at dedicated facilities or isolated upon arrival, and their close contacts had been quarantined earlier, reports Reuters.
“There is currently no evidence that the B117 strain is circulating in the community,” Singapore’s health ministry said late on Wednesday, referring to the new, potentially more infectious UK strain.
Singapore has been conducting viral genomic sequencing for confirmed COVID-19 cases who arrived from Europe recently.
The strain was found among 31 cases from Europe, who arrived in Singapore between November 17 and December 17 and were confirmed to have Covid-19 this month.
The patient with the new variant came to Singapore from the UK on December 6, had been quarantined on arrival and tested positive on December 8. All her close contacts had been placed on quarantine, and had tested negative at the end of their quarantine period.
The health ministry said it had been able to ring-fence the case so that there was no further transmission.