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23 new COVID-19 community cases in Singapore, including students and pastor linked to Jem/Westgate cluster

23 new COVID-19 community cases in Singapore, including students and pastor linked to Jem/Westgate cluster

Shopping malls Jem and Westgate. (Images: Screengrab from Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 23 new COVID-19 cases in the community and one dormitory case on Wednesday (May 26).

Twenty-one of the cases were linked to previous infections, of which 14 had already been placed in quarantine and seven were detected through surveillance. The remaining three were unlinked. 

There were also two imported cases. Both were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.

Singapore reported 26 new COVID-19 cases in total on Wednesday. 

(Source: Ministry of Health)

THREE STUDENTS, PASTOR AMONG NEW CASES LINKED TO JEM/WESTGATE CLUSTER

Two primary school students, an ITE student and a pastor were among the seven new COVID-19 community cases linked to the Jem/Westgate cluster. 

Case 63728, an 11-year-old boy, and Case 63729, a six-year-old girl, are both students at Concord Primary School and had last gone to school on May 17.

They are family members of Case 63357 – a 32-year-old IT engineer at AbbVie Operations Singapore – and were placed in quarantine on May 21.

Case 63728 developed a cough on May 22 but did not report his symptoms and Case 63729 developed flu-like symptoms on May 24. They were confirmed to have COVID-19 on May 25.

Case 63735 is an 18-year-old Singaporean student at ITE College West. He was last in school on May 14.

He is a family member and household contact of two previous cases and was placed in quarantine on May 23. He developed a sore throat on the same day and fever the following day.

He reported his symptoms and was tested on May 25. His test result came back positive on the same day.

Another new case linked to this cluster is Case 63733, a 30-year-old pastor at Grace Assembly Church. She visited JEM on May 11.

She was asymptomatic and was detected when she was tested on May 24 as part of MOH's testing operations for those who visited the malls. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 on May 25.

The other cases linked to this cluster on Wednesday are a 29-year-old Singaporean man who works as a technician at Singapore Refining Company, a 67-year-old Singaporean man who works as a delivery driver for DCH Auriga (Singapore) and a 28-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a hairdresser at Kimage Hair Salon at Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall in Choa Chu Kang.

The 67-year-old delivery driver frequently delivered goods at Jem and Westgate shopping malls. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, which was first detected in India, and is pending further confirmatory tests. He is fully vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, 60 cases in total are linked to the Jem/Westgate cluster.

NEW CLUSTER LINKED TO SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT

A new cluster linked to a 15-year-old Westwood Secondary School student, Case 63708, has been identified.

The cluster involves the student, a 46-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a secretary at Prestige Legal (Case 63709) and a new infection reported on Wednesday.

The new case, Case 63746, is a 74-year-old Malaysian retiree. He is a family member and household contact of Case 63709, and was placed in quarantine on May 25.

He developed a cough and a fever on the same day, and was tested for COVID-19. His test result came back positive. His serology test result is negative.

The retiree received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Mar 19.

TWO MORE NEW CLUSTERS IDENTIFIED

The ministry also identified two more COVID-19 clusters – one linked to the Hong Ye Group cleaners, and another to a 34-year-old technician at Singapore Refining Company.

The new cluster linked to Hong Ye Group has three cases. The latest case reported on Wednesday was Case 63740, a 25-year-old Singaporean woman employed by Hong Ye Group as a cleaner at Changi Business Park. 

She was last at work on May 22 and was quarantined on the same day after she was identified as a close contact of a previous case. She tested positive on May 26.

The other new cluster that has been identified is linked to a 34-year-old Singaporean man who works as a technician at the Singapore Refining Company.

The most recent case linked to this cluster was reported on Wednesday. Case 63741 is a two-year-old Singaporean girl who is a student at My First Skool at 331 Sembawang Close. 

She is a family member and household contact of two previous cases. She tested positive on May 25 while in quarantine.

READ: Returning Singaporeans, PRs will need to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure

NEW UNLINKED CASES

Three unlinked cases were detected through surveillance.

Case 63725 is a 58-year-old Singaporean woman who works at Chevy’s Bar and Bistro. She developed a fever on May 22 and a runny nose on May 24. She sought treatment at a general practitioner on the same day, and underwent both an antigen rapid test (ART) and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

She was immediately isolated after the ART result came back positive on the same day. Her PCR test result came back positive on May 25. She received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 4.

The two other unlinked cases reported on Wednesday are a 38-year-old Malaysian man who works at Rong Chang F&B Services and a 24-year-year-old Malaysian man who works at McDonald’s at The Woodgrove. 

CHANGI PRISON COMPLEX CLUSTER

The Changi Prison Complex cluster grew to 12 cases after another inmate tested positive for COVID-19.

The 49-year-old Singaporean man was identified as a close contact of a previous case and was placed in quarantine on May 13. 

He tested negative for COVID-19 on May 13, 17, 18, 19 and 21, but tested positive on May 24. He developed diarrhoea on May 25.

LEARNING POINT CLUSTER

A 35-year-old Thai woman who works at Santai Cafe at United World College was linked to the Learning Point cluster. 

She is a family member and household contact of a previous case and placed in quarantine on May 23. She developed a sore throat, body aches and headache on May 24, and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day.

The cluster now has 32 linked cases.

MARINA BAY SANDS CASINO DEALER CLUSTER

A 36-year-old Malaysian man who works as a dealer at Marina Bay Sands Casino was added to the cluster, which now has seven cases. 

He was last at work on May 14. He is a household contact of three previous cases and placed in quarantine on May 16. He tested positive for COVID-19 on May 25 after developing a headache and fever the day before.

MCDONALD'S DELIVERY RIDERS CLUSTER

Two women, a 41-year-old permanent resident and a 58-year-old Singaporean woman, were added to the cluster involving McDonald’s delivery riders, which now has 15 cases.

The permanent resident works as a receptionist at Wanderloft Hostel and as a part-time waitress at Collins at Nex shopping mall.

The Singaporean woman works at McDonald’s at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club as a member of the kitchen staff and service crew.

PERSONAL CHAUFFEUR CLUSTER

A 31-year-old Hong Kong citizen who works as a senior executive at Endowus was added to the cluster involving a 53-year-old Singaporean personal chauffeur.

The 31-year-old was identified as a family member and household contact of two previous cases. His quarantine was extended when he was found to be a household contact of another two infections.

He was tested on May 21 and May 23, and his results were negative. He developed a cough on May 24 and he was tested for COVID-19. The test result came back positive the following day.

This cluster now has eight cases.

READ: Changi Airport to segregate workers based on COVID-19 exposure risk

OTHER LINKED CASES

The four remaining community cases include a 20-year-old National University of Singapore student who works part-time at Poke Theory (Novena). She is a family member and close contact of a previous case. She tested positive on May 26.

The other linked cases are a 64-year-old Singaporean woman who is a homemaker, a 52-year-old Singaporean woman who works at Chevy's Bar and Bistro and a 38-year-old permanent resident who works at Tektronix Southeast Asia.

NEW DORMITORY CASE

One new dormitory case was added to the cluster at Harvest @ Woodlands.

Case 63723 is a 22-year-old Indian national who works as a general worker at H&W Communications, and is a roommate of a previous case, who also works in the same company.

Case 63723 was asymptomatic and was detected when he was tested for COVID-19 on May 24 during quarantine. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day. 

His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on May 12 – were negative for COVID-19. His serology test result is negative.



READ: Fashionable masks may look good - but how can you tell if they protect against COVID-19?

2 IMPORTED CASES

Two new imported cases were reported on Wednesday.

One is a foreign domestic worker who arrived from Indonesia, and the other is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from the United Arab Emirates to visit his Singaporean family member.

Both imported cases were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore and were tested during their stay-home notice period.

2 CASES IN INTENSIVE CARE UNIT

MOH said overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 187 cases in the week before to 165 cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from 40 cases in the week before to 30 cases in the past week.

Among the 227 cases reported from May 20 to May 26, 54 have tested positive for their serology tests and 138 have tested negative. Another 35 serology test results are pending.

(Image: Ministry of Health)

Thirty-one more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of recoveries in Singapore to 61,360.

There are currently 242 cases still in the hospital, most of whom are stable or improving. Two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 282 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,916 COVID-19 cases and 32 fatalities.

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Source: CNA/hs

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