SINGAPORE: Four of the Singaporean COVID-19 patients announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (May 21) are residents of Orange Valley Nursing Home in Simei.
The residents are aged between 72 and 97. They were discovered and confirmed as positive cases on Wednesday as a result of the ministry's ongoing surveillance testing of all nursing home residents.
They are currently currently warded at Changi General Hospital, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) said on Thursday.
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CASES PICKED UP THROUGH ACTIVE TESTING
The four Orange Valley residents were among the 13 new Singaporean or permanent resident cases reported on Thursday.
Testing is being carried out for residents and employees at nursing homes, welfare homes, sheltered homes and adult disability homes, as they are deemed particularly vulnerable to developing complications from COVID-19, MOH and the Ministry of Social and Family Development said earlier this month.
The AIC said that more than 10,200 nursing home residents have been tested as of Wednesday.
"Of the test results received thus far, all residents have tested negative except for the four Orange Valley residents," AIC said in a press release.
All Orange Valley staff were negative for the coronavirus when they were tested in early May.
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The authorities have implemented several measures to protect the elderly, including minimising movement among nursing home and residential home employees.
Client-facing staff have also been instructed to move to designated accommodation facilities in the nursing homes, or at hotels during the "circuit breaker" period.
Orange Valley staff have been staying at designated hotels since May 8, said AIC.
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RE-TESTING OF CLOSE CONTACTS
The close contacts of the four patients have been tested as an added precaution, the agency said. This includes the staff who had earlier tested negative at the start of the month. All tests returned negative.
"Orange Valley has complied with enhanced precautionary measures in line with prevailing MOH advisories, such as disallowing visitors to the nursing home, strictly adhering to split-zone requirements and ensuring safe distancing," said AIC.
"With the confirmed cases, Orange Valley has also thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the ward and affected areas of the nursing home, and will enhance the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) among staff," it added.
Orange Valley Nursing Homes operates five nursing homes, located at Balestier, Changi, Clementi, Marsling and Simei.
"Contact tracing is ongoing to identify and quarantine the close contacts of the residents," AIC said.
On Thursday, Singapore recorded its 23rd death from the coronavirus - a 73-year-old Singaporean man with a history of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and hypothyroidism.
It also reported 448 new cases on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 29,812.
Three of the new cases are pre-school staff, who were also confirmed via the ministry's active testing regimes.
Four other patients are family members of a man who had gone to work at Cochrane Lodge II dormitory in Admiralty, a cluster with 394 confirmed cases.
The four are also household contacts of Case 28271, the Singaporean woman who went to work at Bishan MRT station after the onset of symptoms.
Another 910 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, taking the total number of recovered patients to 12,117.