SINGAPORE: About 5,000 inmates, staff, and partners at Singapore’s Changi Prison will be tested for COVID-19 over the next few days after a chef working there was confirmed to have the infection, according to a media report on Saturday.
All inmates’ face-to-face visits will be replaced by phone calls with effect from May 17 until further notice, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said.
The chef is a contract staff working in the prison kitchen located at Institution A5 in Cluster A of Changi Prison, said SPS.
The 39-year-old last reported to work on Wednesday.
He felt unwell after work, developing a fever and runny nose, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic where he received a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19.
His test result came back positive the next day.
SPS said it immediately ceased kitchen operations at Institution A5 and started contact tracing among staff and inmates upon confirmation of his infection.
All close contacts of the man have been isolated or placed in quarantine pending issuance of a quarantine order, said the service.
Affected inmates will serve their quarantine orders in prison, isolated from the rest of the inmate population.
Staff, vendors and volunteers will serve theirs at MOH’s designated quarantine facility.
As a precautionary measure, activities including family visits, counselling sessions and non-critical hospital appointments have been halted in Institution A5 where the chef worked, said SPS.
The country has so far reported more than 61,500 coronavirus cases and 31 deaths.