COVID-19: Four Singaporeans part of family linked to Cochrane Lodge II dormitory cluster

COVID-19: Four Singaporeans part of family linked to Cochrane Lodge II dormitory cluster

The four Singaporeans are also household contacts of the Singaporean woman who had gone to work at Bishan MRT station after the onset of symptoms. 

Cochrane Lodge 07
Cochrane Lodge 2 dormitory was gazetted in April as an isolation area to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Four of the Singaporean COVID-19 patients announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (May 21) are family members of a man who had gone to work at Cochrane Lodge II dormitory in Admiralty after the onset of symptoms.

All four are also household contacts of Case 28271, the Singaporean woman who went to work at Bishan MRT station after the onset of symptoms. 

This means five household contacts of the woman, an SMRT service ambassador for the Circle Line, have now tested positive for COVID-19. 

It was announced earlier this week that a 30-year-old man linked to the woman had contracted the disease.

READ: Singapore reports 451 new COVID-19 cases; household contact of Bishan MRT staff member is sole community case

Within this family, the Singaporean who went to work at Cochrane Lodge II is a 62-year-old man. It was not stated when he experienced the onset of symptoms, but he tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

His three household contacts reported as COVID-19 cases on Thursday are two men, aged 34 and 33, and a 27-year-old woman.

One of the men experienced the onset of symptoms on Tuesday, while the woman presented symptoms on Wednesday.

Cochrane Lodge II now has a total of 394 confirmed cases. 

The four patients reported on Thursday are among 13 new cases involving Singaporeans or permanent residents.

READ: Singapore reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases among citizens or PRs in more than 3 weeks

In all, 448 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of infections in Singapore to 29,812. 

A 23rd death from the disease was also reported. The 73-year-old Singaporean man - Case 4689 - had tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr 17. He had a history of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and hypothyroidism.

READ: 3 pre-school employees contract COVID-19, leave of absence issued to 'small group' of children, staff

READ: Singapore reports 448 new COVID-19 cases and 23rd death

Four of the newly confirmed cases are linked to a new cluster at Orange Valley Nursing Home in 6 Simei Street 3, where they are all residents. 

Three pre-school staff members, all Singaporean, also tested positive for COVID-19. Two of them had gone to work after the onset of symptoms - one of them is a 40-year-old woman who works at My First Skool @ 303 Canberra, and the other is a 58-year-old woman who went to work at PCF Sparkletots @ Gambas.

Most of Singapore's COVID-19 cases are foreign workers living in dormitories.

Singapore has about 200,000 foreign workers housed in 43 purpose-built dormitories. Another 95,000 workers are housed in 1,200 factory-converted dormitories, while 20,000 live in construction temporary quarters and another 85,000 work permit and S Pass holders in the construction sector live in HDB flats and private apartments.

In the past month, several people who worked in migrant worker dormitories have contracted COVID-19.

One of the new community cases reported on May 20 is a 57-year-old Singaporean man who had gone to work at Kranji Lodge 1 after experiencing onset of symptoms on May 16. The man is identified as Case 28834.

MOH also reported on May 16 that two Singaporeans who worked at foreign worker dormitories had contracted COVID-19, along with two household contacts of one of the cases.

One of them is a 31-year-old dormitory inspector. The Singaporean man is identified as Case 26927. It was not stated where he worked.

The other, a 54-year-old man, worked at Cochrane Lodge II. He is identified as Case 27390. Two of his household contacts - a 53-year-old Singaporean woman (Case 27006) and a 25-year-old Singaporean woman (Case 27388) - also contracted COVID-19. 

READ: Singapore to gradually reopen borders, plans to resume essential travel among countries with low COVID-19 transmission rate

On Wednesday, MOH said that COVID-19 cases among work permit holders living outside dormitories would now be added to the daily count of community cases. These cases were previously listed under a separate category.

A large number of work permit holders were placed on mandatory stay-home notices, but the notices have since expired.

"Hence we have now updated the definition of 'cases in the community' to include all cases (including among work permit holders) who are detected outside of the dormitories," said the ministry.

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Source: CNA/nh/gs(aj/mi)