SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 162 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections as of noon on Thursday (Jul 22), including 87 cases linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and five to the cluster in KTV lounges.
As of Thursday evening, there were a total of 560 cases linked to the Jurong Fishery Port/Hong Lim Market & Food Centre cluster, while 221 have been linked to the KTV lounges cluster.
A total of 110 infections were linked to previous cases, with 59 already placed on quarantine and 51 detected through surveillance testing.
The remaining 52 infections were not linked to previous cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its preliminary daily update.
Six cases were people above the age of 70 who were unvaccinated and at risk of serious illness, said MOH.
In total, Singapore reported 170 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
BOON LAY PLACE FOOD VILLAGE CLOSED FOR 2 WEEKS
Boon Lay Place Food Village at 221B Boon Lay Place will be closed from Jul 23 to Aug 6 for deep cleaning after seven COVID-19 cases were detected among individuals who worked in or visited the location.
The cases were uncovered as part of MOH's investigation into cases of COVID-19 infection involving markets and food centres which are likely seeded by fishmongers who visited Jurong Fishery Port.
MOH added that free COVID-19 testing will be extended to all members of the public who visited Boon Lay Place Food Village and Chong Pang Market & Food Centre between Jul 8 and Jul 22.
There are currently 28 active clusters in Singapore, ranging between three and 560 infections. The Jurong Fishery Port/Hong Lim Market & Food Centre cluster remains the largest.
Five more cases have been linked to the Marina Bay Sands Casino cluster, bringing the total number of infections to 15.
Six more cases were also linked to the Case 64697 cluster, which now has a total of 54 infections. MOH did not provide further details regarding Case 64697.
Another new infection has been linked to the Case 64735 cluster, which has a total of 5 cases. The Health Ministry also did not provide further details regarding Case 64735.
The overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 127 cases in the week before to 883 cases in the past week.
"We are likely to continue to see high number of cases in the coming days as we step up efforts to detect them to contain their spread in the community," said MOH.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 16 cases in the week before to 105 cases in the past week.
There are 415 cases currently warded in hospital, with most well and under observation.
There are currently seven cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation, and one in critical condition in the intensive care unit. None among these eight cases is fully vaccinated, said MOH.
"There is continuing evidence that vaccination helps to prevent serious disease when one gets infected. Over the last 28 days, seven local cases required oxygen supplementation, were admitted to ICU or passed away. Six are unvaccinated, one is partially vaccinated and none was fully vaccinated."
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Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday said Singapore's return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures was due to the growing cluster at Jurong Fishery Port, and not the KTV cluster.
In a Facebook post, he said he had received queries on why there was a need to tighten measures "when we plan to live with COVID-19".
As fishmongers and stall assistants who got infected at the port went to work at various markets around the island, this seeded many more cases in the community, he said.
READ: 'A lot of confusion' for stallholders and fishmongers as stalls remain closed with COVID-19 testing under way
Mr Ong added that markets are frequented by the elderly, many of whom have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
"We are at risk of an uncontrollable rise in cases, which could potentially result in many severe illnesses or even deaths," he said. "So we need to preemptively tighten up social activities."
Singapore returned to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions on Thursday, with dining-in at F&B outlets suspended and social gatherings limited to two people. The restrictions will last until Aug 18.
As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 63,791 COVID-19 cases.