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Bus captains and staff from Bishan and Sengkang interchanges who have COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms: LTA

Bus captains and staff from Bishan and Sengkang interchanges who have COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms: LTA

File photo of SBS Transit buses. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: All affected bus captains and staff members at new COVID-19 clusters at the Bishan and Sengkang interchanges are asymptomatic or only showed mild symptoms, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Sunday (Aug 15).

The two bus interchange clusters were among three new clusters identified by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday. 

The Bishan cluster has a total of nine COVID-19 cases so far, while the Sengkang cluster has 13 infections. 

In a press release, the LTA said the clusters include nine bus captains from Bishan bus interchange, as well as five bus captains and two staff members from Sengkang bus interchange.

All 16 personnel have been vaccinated and most of the cases were picked up early through routine proactive antigen rapid tests (ART) by SBS Transit, added LTA. 

97 PER CENT OF SBS TRANSIT BUS CAPTAINS VACCINATED

In response to CNA's queries, senior vice president of corporate communications at SBS Transit Tammy Tan said that 97 per cent of bus captains at the company have been vaccinated, while the rest have been encouraged to take the jab.

The 16 infected staff members have been placed in isolation centres or warded in hospitals, she added.

SBS Transit has started intensive cleaning and disinfection of both the Bishan and Sengkang bus interchanges.

At the air-conditioned Sengkang Interchange, high efficiency filters for mechanical ventilation are used, in keeping with the National Environment Agency standards, said Ms Tan.

"We will step up testing for all our bus captains at the two interchanges where more frequent ARTs will be conducted as an additional measure during this period," Ms Tan said.

Strict safe management measures are in place, including requiring all staff members to wear masks except during meal breaks. Gathering in groups is also disallowed and bus captains have been advised to dine alone.

MOH has facilitated additional community surveillance COVID-19 testing for all staff members and contractors who were recently at the two interchanges, said LTA, adding that there will be "no impact" to bus operations. 

Singapore reported 57 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including 17 with no links to previous cases. There are currently a total of 111 active clusters in the country, ranging between three and 1,155 infections. 

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Source: CNA/nh(zl)

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