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New COVID-19 clusters reported at 2 dormitories previously cleared of the disease

New COVID-19 clusters reported at 2 dormitories previously cleared of the disease

New COVID-19 clusters were reported on Sep 3 at Cochrane Lodge II and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory. (Photo: Google Maps and Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: New COVID-19 clusters were identified at two more foreign worker dormitories that were previously cleared of the disease.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported on Thursday (Sep 3) that new clusters have emerged at Cochrane Lodge II at Admiralty Road West and at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory at Toh Guan Road East.

Of the 48 new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Thursday, 41 were cases living in dormitories.

Eight of the new cases were linked to 10 previous cases to form a new cluster at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory. It was declared cleared of COVID-19 on Aug 14 by MOH. Before the cluster was closed, more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases were linked to it.

READ: New COVID-19 cases at dormitories detected by routine testing is 'part of the plan': Josephine Teo

Westlite Toh Guan dormitory was gazetted as an isolation area on Apr 5 and was among the first dormitories in Singapore where a COVID-19 cluster was identified. The notification was revoked on Aug 14.

On Thursday, MOH reported that 14 previous cases were linked to form a new cluster at Cochrane Lodge II.

More than 450 COVID-19 cases were linked to the cluster at the dormitory before it was declared cleared of the disease on Jul 22 by the health ministry. It was gazetted as an isolation area on Apr 13, and the notification was revoked on Jul 21.

Since Aug 22, there have been several new COVID-19 clusters in dormitories that were previously cleared of the disease.

Besides the two reported on Thursday, new clusters have also been identified at Sungei Tengah Lodge, Homestay Lodge, Tuas View Dormitory, Changi Lodge II, North Coast Lodge, and Toh Guan Dormitory.

On Thursday, MOH reported that 10 additional cases were linked to Homestay Lodge, which now has a total of 17 confirmed cases. One additional case was linked on Thursday to the cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory, growing the cluster there to eight cases.

Another case was linked to Tuas View Dormitory, which now has eight cases in total.

All foreign workers dormitories were declared cleared of COVID-19 by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Aug 19, including standalone blocks in purpose-built dormitories serving as isolation or quarantine facilities.

READ: 62,000 workers still to have mandatory COVID-19 test scheduled ahead of deadline

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said last week that new COVID-19 cases found at dormitories were the result of routine testing.

Workers who are staying in dormitories and those in the construction, marine and process sectors, as well as those going into the work sites, are required to undergo rostered routine testing every 14 days.

Employers must also make sure that their workers have completed a COVID-19 swab test in the past 14 days by Saturday, said the authorities. Those who have not done so will not be allowed to return to work.

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Source: CNA/lk


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