20 of 116 new COVID cases in Singapore form cluster at Bugis Junction

·Editorial Team
·4-min read
Migrant workers pray in their dormitory during the holy month of Ramadan, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore May 8, 2020. Picture taken May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Migrant workers seen in their dormitory on 8 May, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (24 August) confirmed 116 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 66,692.

Of them, 111 are locally transmitted infections including 24 linked to the cluster at North Coast Lodge dormitory, which now has 86 cases.

"The testing operations at the dormitory have completed, and only 12 test results are pending. In all, more than 5,300 residents were swabbed over the past three days," said the MOH.

Of the remaining 87 local cases, 33 are unlinked infections. Among them are four patients above the age of 70 who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and are at risk of serious illness, the ministry added.

There are five imported cases, four of whom were detected upon their arrival in Singapore, while one developed symptoms during their stay-home notice or isolation period.

Three new clusters were announced on Tuesday while three others have closed, bringing the total number of active COVID-19 clusters in Singapore to 70. 

Twenty cases, all new, were linked to a new cluster at Bugis Junction, while eight cases, including seven new, were linked to another new cluster at Selarang Halfway House. The third new cluster is linked to case 68238, which now has four cases. No details weren provided by the MOH on the case.

The ministry said that it is investigating the 20 cases among those who work in Bugis Junction. Staff members who have been working in affected shops at the shopping centre will be tested, and close contacts of confirmed cases will be quarantined, it added, without identifying the affected shops.

Free COVID-19 testing will also be extended to those who had visited the retail shops or used the services or facilities at Bugis Junction between 17 and 24 August. 

Those who had only walked through the mall to connect to neighbouring buildings or Bugis MRT station need not be tested, it said.

No new cases were added to Singapore's largest cluster at the Jurong Fishery Port, linked to 1,155 cases, as well as the second-largest cluster – linked to various KTVs – which has 253 cases.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 322 in the week before to 290 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from 83 in the week before to 121 in the past week.

It added that the seven-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 24.1 and 17.3 respectively.

On Monday, the MOH announced the city-state's 50th coronavirus-related fatality, an unvaccinated 86-year-old Singaporean woman. Altogether, 13 in Singapore have succumbed to COVID-19 this month.

20 require oxygen supplementation; 7 in ICU

At least 65,700 cases in Singapore, or over 99 per cent of the overall total, have fully recovered from their infection and have been discharged from the hospital.

As of Tuesday, 339 cases are currently warded, most of whom are well and under observation.

There are currently 20 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation and seven in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Of those who have fallen very ill, 23 are patients above the age of 60, of whom 19 are completely unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, said the MOH.

Apart from the 50 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Over the last 28 days, the percentage of unvaccinated who became severely ill or died is 8.7 per cent, while that for the fully vaccinated is 1.6 per cent, the ministry noted.

As of Monday, about 8.61 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.48 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with some 4.25 million having completed the full vaccination regimen.

Separately, 160,649 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) have been administered as of Monday, covering 85,114 individuals.

This means that 78 per cent of the population have completed their full regimen, or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 82 per cent have received at least one dose.

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