People wearing protective facemasks walk on the street in Singapore - Photo: AFP

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian foreign ministry confirmed Tuesday (02/04) a migrant worker in Singapore became the first known Indonesian to be infected with the coronavirus. The maid is a 44-year-old Indonesian woman who also had no recent travel history to China. She is the domestic helper of a confirmed case and now being treated under quarantine at the Singapore General Hospital.

The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said in a statement that it had received an official statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Health about the Indonesian citizen. The statement said the embassy could not reveal her identity because of the Personal Data Protection Act.

“There are six new coronavirus cases in Singapore, four of them are locally transmitted cases and one of the patients is an Indonesian maid. The Indonesian citizen has no history of traveling to China but she works for a Singaporean employer who also has been confirmed of having coronavirus,” the embassy said.

Singapore Ministry of Health said it had found six additional cases, four of them involving human-to-human transmission in Singapore, bringing the total infections to 24 in the city-state.

“Though four of these cases constitute a local transmission cluster, there is as yet no evidence of widespread sustained community transmission in Singapore,” the ministry said in a statement.

Two of the local transmission cases involved women working at a health products shop primarily serving Chinese tourists. A third was one of the women’s Indonesian maid, it said.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to at least 490 after the authorities in Hubei province reported 65 new fatalities on Wednesday. In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which have been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a jump in confirmed infections, with 3,156 new cases, taking the total in the province to 16,678. The death toll in the province is now 479.

That puts the national total at more than 24,324, based on numbers previously issued by the central government. In Hubei’s capital city of Wuhan, where the virus first originated, a total of 362 people have now died from the virus. New confirmed cases in Wuhan surged by 1,967 on Tuesday, up from 1,242 on Monday.

The city is converting an additional eight buildings, including gymnasiums, exhibition centers, and sports centers, into hospitals, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday. The latest announcement adds to plans revealed earlier this week to convert three other venues into hospitals. Once all 11 buildings are converted, a process that is expected to be completed later on Wednesday, they will be able to accommodate 10,000 patients.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com