112 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new clusters at Punggol and Toa Payoh bus interchanges
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 112 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections as of noon on Thursday (Aug 26), with two new clusters linked to staff at Punggol and Toa Payoh bus interchanges as well as another cluster at a coffee shop in Bukit Panjang.
The new bus interchange clusters are separate workplace clusters, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its nightly update.
Eleven cases are currently linked to Punggol Bus Interchange, comprising 10 staff members and one household contact.
There are 25 cases currently linked to Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, all of whom work there.
"All staff of both interchanges will be tested for COVID-19, and all close contacts of the cases will be placed on quarantine," said MOH, adding that it is investigating the two workplace clusters.
There are now four active COVID-19 clusters involving bus interchanges.
The Bishan and Sengkang interchanges were reported as clusters on Aug 14 and now have 21 and 22 infections respectively.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Aug 15 that the affected bus captains and staff members at Bishan and Sengkang interchanges were asymptomatic or only showed mild symptoms.
Senior vice president of corporate communications at SBS Transit Tammy Tan told CNA then that 97 per cent of its bus captains were vaccinated.
The ministry on Thursday also reported a new COVID-19 cluster at Bangkit 257 Coffee House, which is located in Bukit Panjang. It currently has three cases.
A total of 40 of the new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday were linked to the growing Bugis Junction cluster.
Of the remaining 72 locally transmitted cases, 31 were linked to previous cases and had been placed on quarantine, said MOH. Another 17 linked infections were detected through surveillance testing.
Twenty-four infections were not linked to previous cases.
There were also four imported cases, taking Singapore daily case count to 116.
As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 66,928 COVID-19 cases and 52 deaths.
BUGIS JUNCTION CLUSTER
With the new cases on Thursday, the COVID-19 cluster linked to Bugis Junction has grown to 104 infections as of Thursday night.
MOH previously said that the BHG outlet in the mall will remain closed until Aug 30 to break any potential chain of transmission and enable deep cleaning of the premises. It was originally scheduled to resume operations on Thursday.
EXISTING CLUSTERS GROW; HOSPITALISATION UPDATE
Four COVID-19 cases were linked to the cluster at Selarang Halfway House, bringing it to 23 infections.
On Thursday, 13 more cases were added to the North Coast Lodge cluster, which now has 125 infections.
Three more COVID-19 clusters closed, keeping the number of active clusters in Singapore at 68.
A total of 343 cases were warded in hospital as of Thursday night. Seven cases were in critical condition in the intensive care unit and 17 cases of serious illness needed oxygen supplementation.
Of those who have fallen very ill, 20 were above the age of 60, of whom 16 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, said MOH.
As of Wednesday, 79 per cent of Singapore's population has completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 83 per cent has received at least one dose.
More than 4.2 million people have completed the full vaccination regimen under the national vaccination programme.
In addition, 162,307 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing have been administered, covering 85,325 individuals.