113 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore; Jurong East Bus Interchange among 2 new clusters
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 113 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections as of noon on Saturday (Aug 28), including a new cluster linked to staff at Jurong East Bus Interchange and another at a foreign workers' dormitory in Kaki Bukit.
Twenty-five of the new cases were linked to the growing Bugis Junction cluster, taking the total number of infections to 176.
Of the remaining 88 locally transmitted infections, 32 were linked to previous cases and had been placed in quarantine, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Another 27 linked cases were detected through surveillance testing.
Twenty-nine infections were not linked to previous cases, said the ministry.
There were also eight imported cases, who were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival.
In total, Singapore reported 121 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
NEW CLUSTER INVOLVING BUS CAPTAINS AT JURONG EAST BUS INTERCHANGE
Two new clusters were reported on Saturday, one involving bus captains at Jurong East Bus Interchange and another at Homestay Lodge, a foreign workers' dormitory in Kaki Bukit.
Eleven new COVID-19 cases were linked to the cluster at Jurong East Bus Interchange, bringing the total to 14 infections.
All 14 infections are bus captains, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in response to CNA's queries.
They are all fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, Tower Transit told CNA.
All other interchange staff members have taken a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and will continue to take an antigen rapid test (ART) every seven days, the Jurong East bus interchange operator said.
The company has also conducted a deep-clean and disinfection of the interchange and stepped up the frequency of disinfection from once every two hours to hourly for high-touch points and every two hours for toilets.
The buses have also been given a deep clean on top of the ongoing twice-a-day disinfection regimen.
"Further measures include a suspension on dining-in at the interchange canteen except for interchange staff who may dine in individually," Tower Transit said.
"We will continue to keep a close watch on the situation at the Jurong East Bus Interchange and our other locations."
Three cases were added to the cluster at Homestay Lodge, which now has five infections.
The clusters linked to staff at Clementi Bus Interchange and Sengkang Bus Interchange have one case added each, with the total number of cases now at eight and 24 respectively.
The Toa Payoh Bus Interchange cluster had 3 cases added to it, which now has 33 infections. Four were added to the cluster at Punggol Bus Interchange, which now has 21 cases linked to it.
There are now six active COVID-19 clusters involving staff at bus interchanges.
Another 1 infection were added to each of the clusters linked to Tuas South Lodge dormitory, Westlite Juniper Dormitory and Bangkit 257 Coffee House, taking the total number of infections to five, 72 and four respectively.
Selarang Halfway House had 3 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 30.
Two clusters have also closed, said MOH, adding that there are 66 active clusters in Singapore.
SIX IN CRITICAL CONDITION
A total of 389 cases are currently warded in hospital as of Saturday night. Six cases were in critical condition in the intensive care unit and 16 cases of serious illness needed oxygen supplementation, said the ministry.
Of those who have fallen very ill, 16 were above the age of 60, of whom 11 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, it added.
Over the past 28 days, the percentage of unvaccinated who became severely ill or died is 9.2 per cent, while that for the fully vaccinated is 1.2 per cent.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 260 cases in the week before to 551 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 82 cases in the week before to 144 cases in the past week.
As of Friday, 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 4.2 million people have completed the full vaccination regimen under the national vaccination programme.
In addition, 164,336 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing have been administered, covering 85,489 individuals.
COVID-19 TESTS FOR NATIONAL YEAR-END EXAMINATIONS
Students who are on leave of absence and not waiting to be issued a quarantine order will be allowed to sit for the national year-end written exams if they regularly test negative for COVID-19.
These students will self-test for the coronavirus every two days at their schools or examination venues from their first day of exams until their leave of absence is rescinded, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) on Saturday.
Students who are on leave of absence and are pending issuance of a quarantine order due to close contact with a confirmed case, however, will not be allowed to sit for the exams.
TIGHTER BORDER MEASURES FOR TRAVELLERS FROM NEW ZEALAND
From 11.59pm on Monday, Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who have travel history to New Zealand in the past 21 days before departure to Singapore will have to serve a seven-day stay-home notice at their place of residence, due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass (ATP) with travel history to New Zealand within the past 21 days before their departure to Singapore will not be allowed to enter Singapore.
Singapore has reported a total of 67,171 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday.