Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Singapore to also isolate household members of a close contact of Covid-19 case

SINGAPORE – Singapore will begin putting entire households in isolation, should one household member be identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 case, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (May 31).

This is because the country’s experience has shown that an infected person is quite likely to pass the virus on to others in the same household.

If the first-degree contact tests negative, the entire household can be safely released from isolation, Mr Lee added.

“But if later, the first-degree contact tests positive, we will have saved precious time by isolating his household members earlier,” he said. “This more aggressive approach will help us to shut down clusters more quickly, and with fewer cases.”

This change to Singapore’s contact-tracing strategy will help the country track down cases faster and cast its net more widely, enabling it to deal with more infectious variants of the virus such as the B1617 strain first detected in India.

The country’s contact tracing capabilities have vastly improved since Covid-19 first hit, Mr Lee said. “The contact tracers are working faster and better, because they have more experience and skills, and better tools.”

These tools include TraceTogether and SafeEntry, which help speed up the rate at which contacts are identified.

“Because of Singaporeans’ self-discipline, public spirit and support of TraceTogether and SafeEntry, we are contact tracing faster and more comprehensively,” he added.

Get live updates here as PM Lee addresses the nation on Singapore’s Covid-19 plans.

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