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50 COVID-19 cases linked to Jem/Westgate cluster, free testing extended to those who visited from May 10-22

50 COVID-19 cases linked to Jem/Westgate cluster, free testing extended to those who visited from May 10-22

The interior of Jem, a mall in Jurong East, on May 17, 2021. (Photo: Schmike Chong)

SINGAPORE: The Jem/Westgate COVID-19 cluster has grown to 50 cases, after six new cases and 40 previously unlinked cases were traced to the two malls on Monday night (May 24). 

The cluster had just four cases a day earlier.

Free COVID-19 swab tests are now available to people who visited Jem or Westgate between May 10 and May 22. The tests were previously offered to those who visited between May 10 and May 14.

Both malls have been ordered to shut for two weeks until Jun 6 amid "likely ongoing transmission" of the virus among visitors, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said earlier.

READ: 24 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; cleaner at SHN facility may be source of Jem/Westgate transmission

READ: 2 Singapore Polytechnic students linked to Jem/Westgate cluster test positive for COVID-19

PREVIOUSLY UNLINKED CASES

The six new cases linked to the Jem/Westgate cluster are two Singapore Polytechnic students, an ST Electronics employee, a delivery worker who frequently delivered goods to Westgate, a waiter at Pizza Hut at Westgate and a woman who is currently unemployed.

In its daily update on Monday night, the Health Ministry said it traced three clusters - one linked to an Abbvie Operations engineer, one linked to a SanofiAventis employee and one linked to Sms Infocomm – to the two malls. The three clusters have a total of 27 cases.

Another 13 previously unlinked cases, including a chef at Suntec City MOS Burger, an auxiliary police officer working at Westgate, another Singapore Polytechnic student and a safe distancing ambassador deployed at Westgate were also linked to the Jem/Westgate cluster. 

One of the previously unlinked cases, a 53-year-old woman who works as a cleaner at a stay-home notice facility at Park Avenue Rochester, may have been the source of infection, said MOH. 

Identified as Case 62933, the cleaner was in Westgate on May 6. She tested positive for COVID-19 on May 7.

Genome sequencing and analysis have found that some visitors to Jem and Westgate have similar sequences to that of the cleaner, MOH said. Further investigations into the mode of transmission are ongoing.

READ: Jem, Westgate tenants brace themselves for higher costs amid mandatory two-week closure

READ: Jem and Westgate malls to be closed for 2 weeks amid 'likely ongoing' COVID-19 transmission: MOH

FREE SWAB TESTS

The Health Ministry has urged people who visited the malls between May 10 and May 22 to undergo a free COVID-19 swab test. 

They may call or book an appointment at Fullerton Health Testing Centre located at Szechuan Court, Raffles City Shopping Centre, according to the MOH website.

They may also walk in to Raffles Hospital at 585 North Bridge Road or Raffles Medical at Shaw Centre Orchard.

Members of the public may also book an appointment at these designated regional screening centres:

- Jurong Club House, 11 Jurong Town Hall Road

- Former Da Qiao Primary School, 8 Ang Mo Kio Street 54

- Former Shuqun Secondary School, 450 Jurong East Street 21

- Former Coral Primary School, 20 Pasir Ris Street 51

- Former Bishan Park Secondary School, 2 Sin Ming Walk

People can also call in advance to book an appointment at any Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC).

Only asymptomatic individuals will be accepted at the regional screening centres and other testing venues. Those who are feeling ill should see a doctor or visit a SASH PHPC. People may also be redirected to another testing venue if regional screening centres are crowded. 

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Source: CNA/hw(cy)

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