2 new COVID-19 clusters in Singapore, including tuition centre where 5 students test positive
SINGAPORE: Two new COVID-19 clusters have been identified in Singapore on Friday (May 14), one of which is linked to a tuition centre where five children and a tutor tested positive.
Five of the 24 new community cases reported on Friday are linked to a previous case, Case 63131, a 50-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a tutor at Learning Point tuition centre at Parkway Centre, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Wednesday.
All five new cases reported on Friday involved children aged seven to nine years who attended Case 63131’s classes at the tuition centre.
Among them are students from Kong Hwa School, St Stephen's School and St Andrew's Junior School. Some of the schools issued notices that they would conduct home-based learning after the detection of the cases.
READ: 24 new community cases in Singapore, including 13 linked to Changi Airport cluster
ALL FIVE CHILDREN DEVELOPED SYMPTOMS
All five cases were identified as close contacts to the tutor and were placed in quarantine on May 12. They all developed symptoms, said MOH.
The first case, Case 63184, is a nine-year-old Singaporean boy studying at St Stephen’s School. He developed a fever on May 11 and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day. He did not to school after the onset of symptoms.
He was tested for COVID-19 on May 13, and the test result came back positive on the same day. His serology result is pending.
The second case, Case 63185, is a nine-year-old Singaporean girl who is a student at Kong Hwa School.
She developed a fever on May 12 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner on the same day. She did not go to school after the onset of symptoms. She was tested for COVID-19 on May 13, and received a positive result on the same day. Her serology test is pending.
READ: Several students who tested positive for COVID-19 linked to private tutor at tuition centre: MOH
The third case, Case 63186, is a nine-year-old Singaporean boy who studies at St Andrew’s Junior School.
He developed a fever while in school on May 11 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the following day. On May 13, he was tested for COVID-19 and he was confirmed to have COVID-19 on the same day. His serology test result is pending.
READ: 2 more primary schools conducting home-based learning after students test positive for COVID-19
The fourth case, Case 63187, is an eight-year-old Singaporean boy who studies at Kong Hwa School.
He also developed a fever while in school on May 11, and sought medical treatment at a polyclinic on the same day. He was tested for COVID-19 on May 12, and it came back positive the next day. His serology test is pending.
The fifth case, Case 63188, is a seven-year-old Singaporean boy who studies at St Stephen’s School.
He developed a runny nose on May 11 but did not seek medical treatment. On May 13, he was tested for COVID-19 and it came back positive on the same day. His serology test is pending.
"NO EVIDENCE OF SCHOOL TRANSMISSION"
During a multi-ministry task force press conference on Friday, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said all infections of school-going children have happened outside of schools.
“We have a series of very tight measures to pick up and to detect and to ring-fence our school system,” he said.
“Up to now, there is no evidence of transmission within the school system," he added.
Mr Wong said that the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and see if additional measures are required, after having tightened safe management measures in schools.
He also said that teachers will no longer be allowed to wear face shields instead of surgical masks while teaching.
READ: Additional COVID-19 antigen rapid testing to be rolled out for people with symptoms
NEW CLUSTER AFTER CASE LINKED TO NURSE
A new cluster of three has been identified after a new COVID-19 case was linked to a previous infection.
Case 63221 is a 39-year-old Filipino man who works at Unity Pharmacy.
He is a household contact of Case 63096, a 33-year-old Filipino man who works as an operating theatre nurse at Sengkang General Hospital. Case 63096 was confirmed to have COVID-19 on May 11.
The 39-year-old is also a family member of Case 63122, a seven-year-old Filipino student at Yio Chu Kang Primary School.
READ: Yio Chu Kang Primary School to conduct home-based learning after student tests positive for COVID-19
Case 63221 was placed in quarantine on May 11. He is asymptomatic and was detected when he was tested for COVID-19 on May 13. The following day, his test result came back positive. His serology test result is pending.
He received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 23 and the second dose on Mar 22.
Singapore reported a total of 52 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest since Jan 30. Of these, 24 were in the community, with 20 linked to previous cases. The remaining 28 cases are imported.
Singapore has reported a total of 61,505 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities from COVID-19 as of Friday.
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