SINGAPORE: Nine new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (Jun 18) were linked to the Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre cluster, including a four-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy.
The size of the cluster now stands at 65.
There were five other community cases, bringing the total number of new community infections to 14.
One case is currently linked to another cluster while the other four are currently unlinked, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
BUKIT MERAH VIEW CLUSTER
Two young children - a four-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy - were among the nine new cases linked to the Bukit Merah View cluster.
They are students at PCF Sparkletots Preschool at 78A Telok Blangah Street 32 and had last gone to school on May 21.
They were identified as family members and household contacts of previously reported cases and had been placed on quarantine on Jun 14.
Both children were tested for COVID-19 on Jun 14 and their test results came back negative. They were tested again on Jun 16. Both of their test results came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Jun 17.
Other cases that had already been quarantined were a 69-year-old retiree and a 39-year-old man who works as a logistics officer at CKD Singapore.
Other cases linked to the Bukit Merah View cluster included an 83-year-old retiree; a woman who works as a cashier at Bake King, a baking supply store at Haig Road; a 72-year-old retiree and a foreign domestic worker.
A 64-year-old man who is employed by KAL Transport as a school bus driver for Tanglin Trust School is also linked to the Bukit Merah View cluster.
READ: Bukit Merah View COVID-19 cluster: Virus could have spread via long queues, surfaces in toilets, says MOH
A 59-year-old retiree is also among the 14 new community COVID-19 cases reported on Friday. She is a family member of Case 64183, a 68-year-old man who works as a landscape gardener at Amozonia.
There were four unlinked community cases reported on Friday, including a resident at NTUC Health Senior Group Home at Bukit Merah View.
The resident is a 69-year-old man who was tested for COVID-19 on Jun 16, as part of the home's surveillance testing for residents.
His pooled test came back positive on Jun 17 and an individual test was administered on the same day. He also developed a runny nose on the same day and his test result came back positive.
The man received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 11, and his second dose on Jun 1.
The other three unlinked cases are two retirees - a 67-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman - and a 51-year-old woman who was detected when she visited a general practitioner clinic for an unrelated medical condition.
The 51-year-old woman was tested for COVID-19 as she stays in the Bukit Merah View area. Her test result came back positive on Jun 17. She was fully vaccinated.
There were also two imported cases - both returning Singaporeans from Indonesia who had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore.
No new infections were reported in migrant workers' dormitories.
In all, Singapore reported 16 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.
CHANGI AIRPORT TERMINAL 3 CLUSTER CLOSED
MOH announced on Friday that the Changi Terminal 3 cluster has been closed, as no more cases have been linked for the past two incubation periods. At its largest, the cluster stood at 108 cases.
Two other clusters were also closed. One was linked to Case 63376, a 46-year-old woman who is an investment banker at DBS and the other was linked to Case 63479, a 49-year-old woman who is a homemaker.
Twenty-seven more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, taking the number that have fully recovered to 61,987.
A total of 152 were still in hospital, with one in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another 209 were isolated and were being cared for at community facilities.
On Friday, the NTUC Health Senior Activity Centre at Henderson and NTUC FairPrice outlet at Bukit Merah Central were among the new locations added to the list of public places visited by COVID-19 community cases during their infectious period.
ADJUSTMENT OF REOPENING PLANS
Dining in at F&B outlets will resume from Monday in groups of up to two people instead of five as previously planned.
The group size of two will also apply to indoor fitness activities with masks off.
The adjusted measures under Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) were announced on Friday, amid the emergence of “a small and persistent number of unlinked cases”.
Such infections have the potential to spark larger COVID-19 clusters such as the one at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre, MOH noted.
Physical visits to elderly residential care homes will also resume from Jun 21, although visitors must take a COVID-19 antigen rapid test at the facilities before they are allowed to enter.
The Health Ministry also said that data from the TraceTogether and SafeEntry systems will be used to strengthen the country’s ringfencing around cases to prevent large clusters from arising.
As part of this, “Health Alerts” via SMS will be sent to people who visited hotspots on the same days as the infected cases and may have been exposed to the virus.
These individuals will be required to undergo mandatory testing at designated testing centres and stay isolated until they receive their results.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 62,382 COVID-19 cases and 34 fatalities from the disease.