597 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore, new cluster at Ren Ci nursing home in Bukit Batok
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 597 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections as of noon on Monday (Sep 13), comprising 534 community cases and 63 dormitory residents.
Among the new local cases, 157 were seniors above the age of 60, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
A new COVID-19 cluster of 28 cases was detected at Ren Ci nursing home in Bukit Batok.
Ren Ci Hospital said in a media statement that three staff members from the same ward had experienced respiratory symptoms on Sunday and immediately sought medical attention.
The relevant ward was locked down after their antigen rapid tests (ART) returned positive.
"Surveillance swabbing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests was then carried out for all nursing home residents and colleagues from the affected zone," the hospital said.
The swab results as of Monday morning showed that a total of eight staff members, including the three who had earlier sought medical attention, and 20 nursing home residents were infected with COVID-19.
Among those who tested positive, only one resident is not vaccinated.
All staff members and 95 per cent of the nursing home residents are fully vaccinated, said the hospital.
The affected ward has since been deep cleaned and disinfected, and the nursing home will be increasing its cleaning frequency.
All other staff and residents of the nursing home will also be tested for COVID-19, said MOH.
Ren Ci Hospital added that the nursing home will facilitate communication between residents and their loved ones through telephone and video calls.
MOH previously announced on Sunday that all visits to residential care homes will be suspended from Sep 13 to Oct 11.
The four-week visitation suspension comes after an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among employees, clients and residents.
According to the Ren Ci website, the nursing home at Bukit Batok Street 52 accommodates 257 beds.
The facility also has a senior care centre within its grounds, with services for the elderly who need day and dementia day care, as well as day rehabilitation services.
NEW DORMITORY CLUSTER
Another new cluster was detected at Avery Lodge Dormitory which now has a total of 58 infections.
MOH said the ongoing intra-dormitory transmission among residents was detected through "proactive testing". The dormitory residents have also been placed on a movement restriction order.
There were also 10 imported cases reported on Monday, taking the total number of infections reported in Singapore to 607.
Four imported cases were detected upon arrival in Singapore, while six developed the illness during stay-home notice or isolation.
OTHER CLUSTERS CONTINUE TO GROW
A total of 16 active clusters are currently being monitored, said MOH.
Ten more cases were linked to the cluster at the DHL Supply Chain Advanced Regional Centre, taking its total to 41.
Twenty-one new cases were linked to the Chinatown Complex cluster, bringing the total number to 105.
Another 16 cases were added to the cluster at the construction site at 30 Sunview Way, which now has 156 infections.
There were 774 patients warded in hospital, most of whom were well and under observation, said MOH.
Of these, 57 cases of serious illness required oxygen supplementation and eight were in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Fifty-one of those who have fallen very ill were seniors above the age of 60.
Over the last 28 days, the percentage of local cases who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms is 98.2 per cent.
Of the 94 cases who required oxygen supplementation, 48 were not fully vaccinated and 46 were fully vaccinated.
Four of the six cases who have been in the ICU were not fully vaccinated. None of the four fatalities were fully vaccinated.
As of Sunday, 81 per cent of Singapore's population have completed their full vaccination regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 84 per cent have received at least one dose.
More than 8.86 million doses of vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme, covering about 4.56 million people, of whom about 4.43 million have completed the full regimen.
Another 176,860 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization's emergency use listing have been administered, covering 86,614 people.
TESTING AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
With students headed back to school on Monday, COVID-19 self-tests done by primary school students in the first week of the new term will serve as a "one-time sweep" to assure people, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Sunday.
All primary school students will be given three DIY antigen rapid test (ART) kits in the first week of Term 4.
This is on top of the six test kits distributed to all households from Aug 28 to Sep 27.
"We encourage families to familiarise themselves with the use by helping our students do a self-test at home this week," Mr Chan said in a Facebook post.
"In time to come, we may also request for additional self-tests to be done. This would strengthen our efforts to further reduce the risks of transmissions in our schools."
As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 72,294 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths from the disease.