9 locally transmitted cases among 34 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore; 1 new death

9 locally transmitted cases among 34 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore; 1 new death

Tan Tock Seng Hospital (3)
View of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore on Apr 30, 2021. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: An 88-year-old Singaporean has died from complications due to COVID-19 infection on Saturday (May 1), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This brings the total number of deaths related to the coronavirus in Singapore to 31.

She had been warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Ward 9D from Apr 14, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Apr 28. 

She had a history of cancer, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, stroke and hyperlipidaemia.

"In her last moments, special arrangements were made for her family to video conference her and visit her from outside her isolation room," said TTSH in a Facebook post on Sunday.

"Our deepest condolences go out to her family and we will continue to offer all the assistance they may need during this difficult time."

READ: TTSH cluster: 88-year-old woman dies from COVID-19 complications

LOCALLY TRANSMITTED CASES

Nine locally transmitted cases were among the 34 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Saturday, MOH said in its preliminary daily update.

Of the locally transmitted cases, seven are in the community. Three of these are linked to Case 62541, a 46-year-old female Philippine national who is a nurse, and were detected from the Health Ministry's testing of patients and staff members at TTSH.

The new cases linked to the TTSH cluster are all elderly people aged 70 and above.

The first case linked to the cluster is an 86-year-old Singaporean whose spouse had been warded from Apr 20 to Apr 22 in TTSH Ward 9D, where Case 62541 worked.

She sought medical treatment for an unrelated condition at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Apr 30, and was found to have a fever. 

She was tested for COVID-19 and her test result came back positive on the same day. Her serological test result is pending.

The second case is a 70-year-old Singaporean who was admitted to Ward 9D on Apr 22.

He tested negative for COVID-19 on Apr 28 while warded at TTSH as part of the testing of staff and patients who have been in the affected wards.

He was transferred to NCID on Apr 28. 

On Apr 30, he developed fever and shortness of breath, and was tested again. His test result then came back positive for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

The third case linked to the cluster is a 74-year-old Singaporean who was warded in Ward 9D from Apr 23 to Apr 27.

She was placed on quarantine on Apr 29, and tested for COVID-19 on Apr 30 during quarantine. 

Her test result came back positive on May 1, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to NCID. Her serological test result is pending.

There are now 16 cases linked to the cluster at the hospital. 

OTHER COMMUNITY CASES

The other four cases in the community are unlinked.

One of the cases is a 19-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident who is a student at Singapore Management University (SMU). 

She has been attending classes virtually, except for a physical visit to SMU on Apr 21.

She arrived from India on Dec 28 last year, and served stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. 

While she was serving stay-home notice, she had been identified as a close contact of Case 58784 during their flight to Singapore, and was placed on quarantine from Dec 29, 2020 to Jan 11, 2021. 

Her test taken on Jan 8 during quarantine was negative for COVID-19.

She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Apr 28 in preparation for a trip. 

Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to Changi General Hospital in an ambulance. 

Her Ct value was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load, and her serology test result came back positive. 

"She could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection which are no longer transmissible and infective to others, but given that we are not able to definitively conclude when she had been infected, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," said MOH.

Another unlinked community case is a 22-year-old Malaysia national who works as a spa therapist at Spa 9, located at 41 Holland Drive.

She developed a runny nose on Apr 28, and sought medical treatment at a General Practitioner clinic, where she was tested for COVID-19. Her test result came back positive the next day. 

Her serological test result has come back negative.

The third unlinked community case is a 50-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident who works as a manager at DIC Asia Pacific, located at 78 Shenton Way. 

She had only gone to work on Apr 26 and Apr 27 in the past month.

She had been in Japan from Mar 13 to Apr 9, and served stay-home notice upon her return to Singapore at a dedicated facility until Apr 23. 

Her test taken on Apr 22 during stay-home notice was negative for COVID-19.

She developed body aches on Apr 27 and a fever the next day, and sought medical treatment at a General Practitioner clinic on Apr 29, where she was tested for COVID-19. 

Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in an ambulance. 

Her serological test result has come back negative.

A fourth unlinked case is a 15 year-old student at Edgefield Secondary School; she was last in school on Apr 29.

READ: Precautionary measures taken at Edgefield Secondary School after student contracts COVID-19

DORMITORY CASES

The remaining two locally transmitted cases reside in a dormitory, Pasir Panjang Residence, located at 33 Harbour Drive. 

They have both received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

One of the dormitory cases is a 35-year-old Myanmar national. He is a work permit holder who arrived in Singapore in January 2020.

He works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal and Brani Terminal. 

The other is a 23-year-old India national. He is a work permit holder who arrived in Singapore in December 2020. He works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal.

IMPORTED CASES

Twenty-five cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, the ministry said. 

Of the imported cases, five are Singaporeans, and four are Singapore Permanent Residents who returned from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, UK and US.

Five are dependant's pass holders, and four are work pass holders, all of whom arrived from India and Nepal.

Four are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, all of whom are foreign domestic workers.

Two are short-term visit pass holders who arrived from the Philippines. One arrived to visit family members who are Singaporeans, and the other is here for a work project.

The remaining imported case is a special pass holder who is a sea crew. He arrived from India and had remained onboard until he was conveyed to a hospital.

MOH said 14 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 60,765 have fully recovered from the infection.

There are now 111 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with none in the intensive care unit.

Another 272 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. They have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 11 in the week before to 37 in the past week. Unlinked cases in the community have also increased from four in the week before to 10 in the past week.



READ: People 'should limit' social interactions to maximum of 2 a day, says MOH

READ: Singapore to bar visitors from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

TAN TOCK SENG HOSPITAL CLUSTER

The Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster is Singapore's first hospital cluster and currently the country's largest. 

A total of four hospital wards have now been locked down, up from two wards on Thursday.

This means there will be no movement in and out of those wards except for essential testing, said the hospital's CEO Dr Eugene Soh at a press conference by the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force on Friday.

There are currently 1,100 inpatients and 4,500 staff members working at the main hospital wards – all of whom will be swabbed, said Dr Soh.

Visitors are not allowed at the hospital except on a case-by-case basis for patients who are critically ill.

READ: New COVID-19 cluster linked to cleaner working at a community care facility in Tuas South

READ: Yale-NUS student tests positive for COVID-19; residents in affected hostel block to self-isolate

Singapore will stop entry or transit for visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the COVID-19 task force also announced on Friday.

The ban starts on May 2 and covers all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been in the four countries in the last 14 days, including transit.

Locally, MOH said that individuals should limit their social interactions in view of the growing number of community cases.

While the current eight-person limit on unique household visitors and gatherings in public places remains in place, MOH’s guidance is that such social interactions should be capped at two per day.

As of Saturday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,179 COVID-19 cases.

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Source: CNA/aj/zl

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