SINGAPORE: A total of 27 people at MINDSville@Napiri Adult Disability Home have tested positive for COVID-19, forming a new cluster.
The first case emerged on May 31.
The 37-year-old Singaporean is a resident at the home in Hougang and was listed as Case 63924 in the Ministry of Health's (MOH) daily update on Jun 1. Her infection was not linked to previous cases.
The woman developed a runny nose and cough on May 29 and a fever on May 30. She was taken to a polyclinic the next day when she tested positive.
Twenty-six more people from the home have since tested positive. Four of them were included in MOH's daily update on Wednesday (Jun 2), while 22 will be added to the case count on Thursday after their test results have been verified, said the ministry.
The four cases added to Wednesday's case count were all fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
They include a 30-year-old Philippine national who is a nursing aide at the home. She developed a runny nose, cough and sore throat on May 29 but did not seek medical attention. She was placed on quarantine on Jun 1 and tested positive on the same day.
The other three cases - Singaporean women aged 47, 55 and 64 - are residents at MINDSville@Napiri. All experienced symptoms of COVID-19.
TESTING AND ADDITIONAL MEASURES
After Case 63924 was detected, the home immediately took additional measures, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on Wednesday.
All 255 residents and employees at MINDSville@Napiri were tested. The facility serves a total of 112 residents, it said in a Facebook post on Wednesday night.
Of the 27 cases, 23 were asymptomatic and were discovered through proactive testing, said MSF. "Those who presented with symptoms were promptly isolated while awaiting their swab test results," it added.
Twenty-three of the COVID-19 cases are residents and four are staff members.
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The facility has stopped all admissions and discharges. Visitors are not allowed.
It has also completed a thorough cleaning and disinfection of its premises, MSF noted.
"These were on top of measures that had already been put in place earlier, including organising residents into cohorts and staff into split teams, and restricting resident cohorts and staff teams to pre-designated zones within the Home," said the ministry.
All other residents, staff members and other close contacts including clients, visitors and vendors, have been placed on quarantine and will be regularly tested.
MSF said it is working closely with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.
The home is managed by MINDS under the purview of SG Enable (SGE) and funded by MSF.
The ministry said the home has been implementing safe management measures for all residential and community-based facilities since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.
These measures include restricting visitors, avoiding cross-deployment and suspending large group and communal activities.
A total of 91 per cent of the staff members and residents at the home have also been vaccinated in February and March, said MSF.
Since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on May 16, MSF said the home has further reduced the number of pre-registered visitors from four to two for each resident.
Employees who are caring for those in isolation rooms are geared in full personal protective equipment, and staff members have been reminded to limit their activities outside the home.
MINDS said in its Facebook post on Wednesday night that it is working closely with the authorities to "ensure the health and well-being of everyone".
"MINDS has reached out to the caregivers to assure them that the safety of all the residents, clients and staff is of utmos priority," it said.