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Singapore reports 37th COVID-19 fatality; woman was unvaccinated and linked to 121 Bukit Merah View cluster

Singapore reports 37th COVID-19 fatality; woman was unvaccinated and linked to 121 Bukit Merah View cluster

121 Bukit Merah View. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported its 37th COVID-19 fatality on Sunday (Jul 25), an 83-year-old woman who was unvaccinated.

Identified as Case 64342, the Singaporean woman lived in Bukit Merah and was linked to the 121 Bukit Merah View cluster, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The woman developed a fever and cough on Jun 16 but did not seek medical attention until she was taken to National University Hospital on Jun 18, where she tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.

MOH said she had a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.

The woman was linked to the 121 Bukit Merah View cluster on Jun 21, along with two other female retirees aged 86 and 80. The cluster was closed on Jul 19.

READ: 127 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new cluster linked to Samy's Curry at Dempsey

The cluster, along with other smaller COVID-19 clusters in the neighbourhood, emerged after COVID-19 cases were linked to the market and food centre at 115 Bukit Merah View.

On Jun 24, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, the ministry’s director of medical services, said that more than half of the COVID-19 cases linked to the market and food centre were not vaccinated. 

About a third were fully vaccinated, and the majority of these cases were either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, he said.

The virus could have spread through the cluster by the use of common facilities - including toilets - at the market and food centre, Assoc Prof Mak said.

"There are many who work in the vicinity, who will visit both the market and the food centre for their meals. And some of the cases that we have interviewed have reported queuing up for at least 30 minutes, which would ordinarily be considered a significant period of close contact if these visitors were close together," he added.

The cluster also contains "next generation of transmission" cases involving those who did not visit the market or food centre but had close contact with other cases who visited the places or worked there.

READ: About half of COVID-19 cases in Bukit Merah View market cluster not vaccinated

READ: Bukit Merah View COVID-19 cluster: Virus could have spread via long queues, surfaces in toilets, says MOH

Singapore reported 127 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections on Saturday, including 75 cases linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster and five to the cluster in KTV lounges.

In a video posted on social media on Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged senior citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19, assuring them that the vaccines are safe.

“Don’t wait till it’s too late,” Mr Lee said.

“Most people your age are already vaccinated, including many of your friends and neighbours. Protect yourself, and your family too.” 

As of Saturday, Singapore has reported a total of 64,057 COVID-19 cases and 37 fatalities from the disease.

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Source: CNA/nh(cy)

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