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Suspected COVID-19 Omicron cluster at Anytime Fitness outlet in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre

Suspected COVID-19 Omicron cluster at Anytime Fitness outlet in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre

View of the Anytime Fitness outlet at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. (Image: Anytime Fitness website)

SINGAPORE: A suspected Omicron cluster has been detected at an Anytime Fitness outlet located in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Dec 21). 

Three COVID-19 cases have been linked to the gym, of whom two have tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant. The result for the remaining case is pending. 

None of the cases has recent travel history. In its press release issued shortly after midnight, MOH said epidemiological investigations found that the three cases visited Anytime Fitness at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre between Dec 15 and Dec 17. 

All three cases are fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms. The cases are also being ringfenced through contact tracing, added MOH. 

The first case, identified as Case 280856, is a 24-year-old man who is unemployed. He developed a sore throat and fever on Dec 18 and sought medical attention at a general practitioner (GP) clinic where he underwent a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on the same day.

The second case is an 18-year-old student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The woman, known as Case 280951, was last in school on Dec 15. She developed a sore throat and fever on Dec 18 and also sought medical attention at a GP clinic where she was tested for COVID-19.

Her PCR test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Dec 19.

The remaining case is a 21-year-old student at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy but had not been to school recently. Known as Case 280990, the man developed a sore throat on Dec 18 and sought medical attention at a GP clinic where he was tested for COVID-19. His result came back positive on Dec 19.

MOH said staff members and visitors of Anytime Fitness at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre who are identified to be close contacts of the cases will be placed on quarantine.

As a precautionary measure, other visitors to the gym between Dec 15 and Dec 17 will be issued health risk warnings (HRW). They will also be contacted by MOH for a one-time targeted PCR test.

"All visitors to the affected premises are advised to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit. They are encouraged to see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell," said MOH.

The Health Ministry added that to date, there are 71 confirmed Omicron cases detected in Singapore, with 65 imported cases and six local cases.

"Given its high transmissibility and spread to many parts of the world, we should expect to find more Omicron cases at our borders and also within our community. It is important for everyone to continue to play their part and remain vigilant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to come forward to receive your vaccination or booster dose when offered," it added.

Singapore on Monday reported 195 new COVID-19 cases, of which 45 were Omicron infections

According to the latest infection statistics on the Health Ministry's website, 42 of the reported Omicron cases are imported, while three are local. MOH did not specify if the three cases linked to the Anytime Fitness cluster were included in this tally. 

The Health Ministry on Nov 30 had announced that anyone suspected or confirmed of being infected with the Omicron variant will not be allowed to undergo home recovery.

They will be taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for isolation and management of the disease.

Full contact tracing for these cases will be conducted and identified close contacts will not be allowed to self-isolate at home.

These close contacts will be placed on a 10-day quarantine at designated facilities, and PCR tests will be conducted at the start and end of their quarantine.

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Source: CNA/zl(ac)
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