Covıd-19, Coronavirus, Changi Prison, Singapore Prison Service

Covıd-19, Coronavirus

About 5,000 inmates, staff to be tested for COVID-19 after chef at Changi Prison tests positive

About 5,000 inmates, staff to be tested for COVID-19 after chef at Changi Prison tests positive

15/5/2021 5:53:00 AM

About 5,000 inmates, staff to be tested for COVID-19 after chef at Changi Prison tests positive

SINGAPORE: About 5,000 inmates, staff and partners at Changi Prison will be tested for COVID-19 over the next few days after a chef working there ...

BookmarkSINGAPORE: About 5,000 inmates, staff and partners at Changi Prison will be tested for COVID-19 over the next few days after a chef working there was confirmed to have the infection.All inmates' face-to-face visits and tele-visits will also be replaced by phone calls with effect from May 17 until further notice, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said on Saturday (May 15).

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AdvertisementAdvertisementThe chef who is a confirmed case is a contract staff working in the prison kitchen located at Institution A5 in Cluster A of Changi Prison, said SPS. He is employed by SATS Food Services.The man, known asCase 63160, was reported as an unlinked community case by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday. He is fully vaccinated.

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.

AdvertisementAdvertisementSPS 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.TESTING FOR CLUSTER AAdvertisementAs 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.

All affected areas have also been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.PCR testing has started for all inmates, staff, vendors and volunteers who have been to Institution A5 from Monday to Wednesday. About 1,050 inmates, staff and partners will be tested, said SPS.

READ: Additional COVID-19 antigen rapid testing to be rolled out for people with symptomsThe Changi Prison complex comprises two clusters, Cluster A and Cluster B, each of which contains five institutions. Cluster A comprises Institutions A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5.

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SPS said it will take a"highly precautionary measure" to test all inmates, staff and partners from Cluster A while the test results for those placed on quarantine order are pending."This is to ensure that the virus does not spread undetected within prisons, and that any asymptomatic cases are promptly identified and isolated," said the service.

About 5,000 people will be progressively tested over the next few days.Inmate activities including rehabilitation programmes will be suspended to facilitate the testing, said SPS.READ: Group sizes down from 5 to 2, dining-in suspended as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

NO FACE-TO-FACE OR TELE-VISITSIn view of the tighter measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 community transmission, there will be no face-to-face visits and tele-visits for all inmates from May 17 until further notice. These will be replaced with phone calls, said SPS.

The measures are implemented from May 17 as face-to-face visits and tele-visits do not take place on Sundays, said the service.Families who have already booked their visits will have them automatically converted to phone calls. Inmates can also continue to communicate with their families through e-letters.

SPS has also suspended all rehabilitation programmes conducted by vendors and volunteers during this period.READ: How Singapore's prisons are taking precautions against COVID-19"These are important, preventive steps taken by SPS, for the safety of our inmates and their families, staff and partners, and they complement existing measures that have been in place since the onset of COVID-19," said the service.

SPS said it has also increased the duration of cohort segregation for newly admitted inmates from 14 to 21 days, since May 8.Newly admitted inmates will undergo PCR tests upon admission, as well as on the 14th and 20th day of segregation, it said. Read more: CNA »

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Chef. Gourmet food. Covid19 infections still ok , all wearing mask for all occasions , very minimum threats . Unless the cooks when cooking , remove his mask , then serious trouble Bread baked for SAF. Bedlinen laundered for SAF. All packed by inmates. Send into camps. Wahlau. GAO, GAO liao JoakimGomez Hearbreaking!

The vax dont really work isnt it. The cook is fully vax. however i applaud the SPS for taking care of the inmates. Since the cook is not front line, fully vax..still caught the virus? Common sense told me, the probablity of vax getting covid is not diff from.unvax Sad. These inmates are being prisoned for the crimes they committed. But now they are being quarantined for the crimes they didnt commit.

Amazing how many fully vaccinated are symptomatic. Vaccination surely required immediately too. Now this is bad… real bad.