Singapore has confirmed its first case of the new COVID-19 strain from the UK, a potentially more contagious strain.
The Straits Times reported that the patient is a 17-year-old Singaporean student who recently returned from Britain.
Eleven others, who arrived in Singapore from Europe and are already in quarantine, have returned preliminary positive results for the new strain.
The confirmation came days after the city-state received Asia’s first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ministry of Health said that as the first confirmed case had been isolated upon arrival in the country, they were able to “ring-fence this case so that there was no further transmission arising from her.”
All the cases are currently under 14-day stay-home notices at dedicated facilities upon their arrival in Singapore. Their close contacts were also reportedly quarantined.
As a precautionary measure, Singapore announced that visitors with recent travel history to the UK within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through the country to reduce the risk of the new strain spreading within the community.
Singapore currently has 131 active cases and has reported almost zero local infections in recent months.
Meanwhile, the new COVID-19 strain had not been detected in the Philippines based on the monitoring by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, according to the Department of Health earlier this week.
Malacañang announced on Dec. 22 that travelers from the United Kingdom are banned from entering the Philippines from today, Dec. 24, until Dec. 31.