SINGAPORE: The cluster of COVID-19 cases at SingPost Centre was caused by an employee who had come to work despite being unwell, said Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran on Thursday (Apr 2) as he reiterated the importance of staying home when sick to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Last week, a contract worker and two full-time employees at SingPost’s packet-processing facility tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting operations to be suspended for cleaning and disinfection.

As of Thursday, at least eight cases have been linked to that cluster in total.

“Everyone has a part to play in the fight against COVID-19; we must do the right thing to protect the health of our families, our colleagues and ourselves,” said Mr Iswaran in a statement issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). 

“The SingPost cluster was caused by a contract staff who was unwell but still came to work. This underscores the importance of staying at home and avoiding social interactions if unwell,” he added. 

The contract worker was the first individual at SingPost to be diagnosed with COVID-19 on Mar 25. The individual was last at the facility on Mar 19.

On Mar 27, the two full-time employees – who were working on the same floor as the contract worker – also tested positive despite SingPost’s health screening and safe distancing measures.

The affected SingPost staff are not postmen and do not have any contact with members of public in their line of work, IMDA said in the statement, reiterating that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through the postal network and mail articles.

IMDA said it is working with SingPost to minimise disruption on mail operations, including facilitating the national postman’s recruitment of workers from other sectors who have been displaced due to the coronavirus.

“IMDA encourages workers looking for positions to reach out to SingPost for job opportunities,” the authority said.

“The Government will support SingPost to safeguard the well-being of its workers, ensure the continued delivery of letters and parcels and minimise the impact on essential postal services for the public,” added Mr Iswaran.

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