Singapore discovers new Covid-19 cluster in Tuas View dormitory


This is the third consecutive day a new dorm cluster has emerged after all dorms in Singapore were declared free of the coronavirus on Aug 19. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): A new coronavirus cluster linked to a workers dormitory in Tuas was announced on Monday evening (Aug 24) by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The Tuas View Dormitory cluster at 70 Tuas South Avenue 1 was formed after one of the new Covid-19 patients confirmed by the ministry on Monday was linked to five previous cases.

This is the third consecutive day a new dorm cluster has emerged after all dorms here were declared free of the coronavirus last Wednesday, including standalone blocks in purpose-built dormitories that served as isolation or quarantine facilities.

A new Covid-19 cluster was announced last Saturday to be linked to Sungei Tengah Lodge in Old Choa Chu Kang Road. Then on Sunday, Homestay Lodge at 39 Kaki Bukit Avenue 3 also emerged as a cluster.

MOH director of medical services Kenneth Mak said at a multi-ministry task force press conference last Friday that some of the cases of Covid-19 among foreign workers had older infections before they were placed in quarantine facilities.

They were moved to the facilities before the dorms had been cleared, he added.

MOH on Monday also confirmed 51 new coronavirus cases, taking Singapore's total to 56,404.

They included one community case, a 65-year-old Singaporean woman.

She was identified as a contact of a previously confirmed case and was tested when she was quarantined earlier.

There were also seven imported cases, comprising one permanent resident, two work permit holders, three dependant's pass holders and one long-term visit pass holder. All of them had been placed on stay-home notices when they arrived here.

Three of the imported cases were boys, aged two to three, who had returned from India. They tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and Sunday.

Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the 43 other cases announced on Monday.

MOH also said it has completed its screening and testing of all the people who had visited Jewel Music Box KTV at HomeTeamNS Khatib on Aug 1 and 2.

The KTV outlet was not operational during the visits and there were no singing activities held.

The screening and testing were done as precautionary measures after three confirmed Covid-19 patients were found to have visited the KTV outlet on Aug 1 and 2 even though the risk of infection for visitors is assessed to be low.

In total, 322 people were tested, and all the results have come back negative.

Shopping mall Jem was added on Monday by MOH to its list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

Yuhua Market and Hawker Centre in Jurong East and Jurong West 505 Market and Food Centre were also added to the list on Monday.

The ministry provides the list of locations and times that infectious Covid-19 patients visited for at least 30 minutes to get those who were at these places at specific periods to monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit.

The full list of locations and times can be found on MOH's website.

The ministry has said that close contacts would already have been notified and that there is no need to avoid these places as they would have been cleaned, if needed.

The number of new cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two cases per day in the past two weeks, said MOH.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also remained stable at an average of one case per day over the same period.

With 423 cases discharged on Monday, 54,572 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 84 patients remain in hospital, while 1,706 are recuperating in community facilities. None are in intensive care.

Singapore has had 27 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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