3 more seniors die from COVID-19 complications in Singapore; 120 new locally transmitted cases
SINGAPORE: Three more senior citizens have died of complications from COVID-19, bringing Singapore's death toll from the virus this month to 18.
All three cases were not vaccinated against COVID-19, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update on Friday (Aug 27).
Two of the cases died on Thursday.
One was an 80-year-old Singaporean man who tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug 7 and was admitted to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on the same day. He had no known medical conditions.
The other was a 90-year-old Singaporean woman who was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for an unrelated medical condition on Aug 18, and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. She had a history of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.
The third fatality was a 70-year-old Singaporean woman who died on Friday.
She was also admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for an unrelated medical condition on Aug 11. She was negative for COVID-19 on admission, but tested positive when another test was taken on Aug 17.
She had a history of diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease, end-stage renal failure, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.
MOH said that two of the fatalities were "non-ambulatory and had limited movement outside of their homes, but yet had been infected as unlinked cases".
These were the 70-year-old woman identified as Case 68636 and the 90-year-old woman identified as Case 68664.
Singapore has recorded 55 deaths from COVID-19 to date. August is the country's deadliest month since the start of the pandemic.
120 NEW LOCALLY TRANSMITTED CASES
Singapore reported 120 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections as of noon on Friday, including 47 linked to the growing Bugis Junction cluster.
Of the remaining 73 locally transmitted infections, 31 were linked to previous cases and had been placed on quarantine, said MOH in its daily update. Another 16 linked infections were detected through surveillance testing.
Twenty-six infections were not linked to previous cases.
Among the new cases, three people above the age of 70 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and are at risk of serious illness, said MOH.
There were also two imported cases, taking Singapore's daily case count to 122.
NEW CLUSTERS AT BUS INTERCHANGE, DORMITORY
Two new COVID-19 clusters were identified on Friday.
Tuas South Lodge dormitory formed one new cluster with four infections, including two new cases reported on Friday.
Staff at Clementi bus interchange formed the other new cluster with seven infections, three of them reported on Friday.
Deep cleaning and disinfection were carried out at the location and on all affected buses and common facilities, said an LTA spokesperson in response to CNA's queries on Saturday.
"We are working with PTOs (public transport operators) to minimise the impact on bus operations," said the authority, adding that operators will also take "additional precautions" for mask-off activities such as dining and smoking.
"These include ensuring workers take their meal and smoke breaks alone, even if they are fully vaccinated."
Three existing clusters linked to staff at the Toa Payoh, Punggol and Bishan bus interchanges also continued to grow. These clusters now stand at 29, 17 and 24 infections respectively.
There is another active COVID-19 cluster at Sengkang bus interchange, with a total of 22 cases.
In response to CNA's queries, MOH said that epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine any linkages and sources of transmission at the five bus interchange COVID-19 clusters.
New cases were also logged at the clusters linked to North Coast Lodge dormitory, Selarang Halfway House and Case 68669, of which the ministry did not provide further details.
SIX CASES IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Six cases were in critical condition in the intensive care unit while 13 cases of serious illness required oxygen supplementation, out of 369 warded in hospital.
Most of the patients who have fallen very ill are people above the age of 60 who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Over the last 28 days, the percentage of unvaccinated cases who became severely ill or died was 9.2 per cent, while that for the fully vaccinated was 1.3 per cent.
79% OF POPULATION FULLY VACCINATED
As of Thursday, 79 per cent of Singapore's population has completed their full vaccination regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 83 per cent has received at least one dose.
More than 8.6 million doses of vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme, with about 4.2 million people fully vaccinated.
Another 163,009 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization's emergency use listing have been administered to 85,390 people.
ALL HOUSEHOLDS TO GET FREE TEST KITS
All households in Singapore will receive free antigen rapid test (ART) kits as part of the nation's strategy to step up COVID-19 testing efforts, the Health Ministry announced earlier on Friday.
ART kits will also be given to students and employees of pre-schools, Ministry of Education kindergartens, early intervention centres, primary schools and special education schools (primary and junior sections).
The ministry said Singapore is "on track" for 80 per cent of the population to be fully vaccinated by end-August, and that despite an "uptick" in cases in the past four days, the majority were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
As the number of jabs per day has dropped, four vaccination centres will be closed and more clinics will be mobilised to administer the shots.
Singapore has reported a total of 67,050 COVID-19 cases as of Friday.
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