SINGAPORE: An 86-year-old Singaporean woman has died from complications due to COVID-19 infection, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (Jun 8), bringing Singapore's COVID-19 death toll to 34.
The woman, identified as Case 62680, had a history of diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, hypertension and hypothyroidism, said MOH in its evening update.
She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 30 while warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for an unrelated medical condition. She was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
The woman was linked to the COVID-19 cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where her husband was warded at Ward 9D from Apr 20 to Apr 22.
That cluster - Singapore's only one at a hospital - closed on Sunday after no new cases were linked to it for 28 days. The cluster had recorded 48 cases.
MOH said Khoo Teck Puat Hospital had reached out to the woman's family and was extending its assistance.
Four new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections were reported in Singapore on Tuesday, including a dormitory resident.
2 UNLINKED COMMUNITY CASES
Three of the new infections reported on Tuesday were in the community. One was linked to previous cases and had already been placed in quarantine.
The other two community cases were unlinked and were detected through surveillance testing.
One unlinked community case involved a 54-year-old permanent resident working as a vessel manager at NYK Shipmanagement. He was asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, having received his second dose of the vaccine on Feb 17.
Identified as Case 64107, the man's infection was detected when he was administered both an antigen rapid test (ART) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Jun 7 before boarding a vessel.
He was immediately isolated when his ART result came back positive for COVID-19. His PCR test result also came back positive that day.
His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on Jun 3 – were all negative for COVID-19.
The man's serology test result was negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection, said MOH.
The other unlinked community case was a 35-year-old Malaysian woman working as a retail assistant at the Four Leaves bakery in ION Orchard and AMK Hub.
She developed a fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose on Jun 5, but did not seek medical treatment until Jun 7, when she visited a general practitioner clinic.
There, she was administered both an ART and PCR test, and was immediately isolated when her ART result came back positive for COVID-19. Her PCR test result also came back positive for COVID-19 infection on the same day.
Her serology test result was pending.
The third community case was linked to the cluster at MINDSville@Napiri Adult Disability Home.
The 56-year-old man was a resident of the home. His infection was asymptomatic and was detected from proactive testing of residents of the home, said MOH.
UNLINKED DORMITORY CASE
There was also one unlinked case residing in a migrant workers' dormitory.
The 31 year-old Bangladeshi man was employed by Isogo Marine Engineering as a plumber and pipe fitter, and worked at Keppel Shipyard Tuas Yard. He was a resident of the Avery Lodge at 2D Jalan Papan.
The man was asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, having received his second dose on Mar 28.
His infection was detected when he was tested on Jun 7 as part of testing for dormitory residents before they visited Terusan Recreation Centre.
His ART result came back positive that day and he was immediately isolated. His PCR test result also came back positive the next day.
His earlier tests from rostered routine testing - the last being on Jun 3 - were all negative. His serology test result was pending.
Five imported cases were also reported, said MOH. They had already been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.
They included two permanent residents who had returned from India and a short-term visit pass holder who was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had arrived from Indonesia for further treatment.
There were also two work permit holders who had arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, the former being a foreign domestic worker.
In all, Singapore reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. This was the lowest daily number of new cases in almost three months, since Singapore reported eight COVID-19 cases on Mar 13.
SHOPS IN ORCHARD, CHINATOWN VISITED BY CASES
Multiple shops at malls in Orchard and Chinatown were on Tuesday added to MOH's list of public places visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period.
They included the Four Leaves bakery at ION Orchard where a new community case worked.
The full list of new locations is as follows:
CLUSTER ON BUNKER TANKER CLOSED
The cluster linked to bunker tanker MT ALLI was closed on Tuesday after no more cases were linked to it for 28 days, said MOH. The cluster had a total of seven cases.
Another 42 cases were discharged from hospital on Tuesday, bringing the number of people who had fully recovered to 61,702.
There were 187 cases still in hospital, including two in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 296 cases had been isolated and were being cared for at community facilities.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community fell from 125 cases in the week before to 93 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community also fell from 24 cases in the week before to 10 cases in the past week.
Among the 150 confirmed cases reported from Jun 2 to Jun 8, 79 cases had tested positive for their serology tests, 61 had tested negative and 10 serology test results were pending.
AUTHORISED VACCINES "SAFE AND EFFECTIVE" AGAINST COVID-19
There is "no evidence" that inactivated virus vaccines demonstrate higher efficacy against COVID-19 variants than messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines, said the government-appointed expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination in Singapore.
The two vaccines currently used in Singapore's national vaccination programme - Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna - are based on mRNA technology.
The Sinovac vaccine, of which Singapore has 200,000 doses, uses inactivated viruses.
"We have noted social media messages asserting that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective against (variants of concern) and that inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccines would provide superior protection," said the committee said in a statement on Monday.
READ: 'No evidence' inactivated virus vaccines more efficacious against COVID-19 variants than mRNA ones: Singapore expert committee
This clarification follows a similar statement less than three weeks ago, in response to an open letter by 12 doctors that had called for children to be given COVID-19 vaccines other than mRNA ones over fears of "unknown and unstudied" long-term side effects.
As of Tuesday, Singapore had reported 62,219 COVID-19 cases and 34 fatalities from the disease.