9 new COVID community cases in Singapore, including 4 linked to TTSH nurse cluster

·Editorial Team
·11-min read
People watch an outdoor movie screening within their social distances during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
People watch an outdoor movie screening within their social distances during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 7 January, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (30 April) confirmed 24 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,145.

Nine of them are local infections in the community, while the remaining fifteen cases are imported. This marks the fourth day in a row with reported local infections.

"Amongst the new cases today, 17 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while seven were symptomatic," said the MOH.

Of the community cases, eight are linked to previous cases and one is currently unlinked.

Among them, four are linked to a fully-vaccinated nurse at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and were detected from the proactive testing of patients and staff at the hospital. The cluster now has 13 cases linked to it.

Two are linked to a 39-year-old Vietnamese woman who was confirmed as an unlinked case on Thursday. She works as a cleaner employed by Octo Jet Building Maintenance Services and is deployed at a community care facility at Tuas South. The three cases form a new cluster, one of nine active COVID-19 ones in Singapore, named after the woman's case number 62553.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 10 in the week before to 35 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from five in the week before to six in the past week.

TTSH nurse cluster: 4 new cases, 13 in total

The 46-year-old Filipino nurse is deployed at Ward 9D, a general ward in the hospital, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 two days ago. The discovery of the nurse's infection had led to a lockdown of Ward 9D, and subsequently Wards 7D, 10B, and 9C.

The "Case 62541" cluster, named after the nurse's case number, also consists of two other TTSH staff members and six patients warded in Ward 9D.

  • Fully-vaccinated doctor

The 36-year-old Singaporean man is a doctor at the National Neuroscience Institute located in the TTSH. He received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 21 January and the second dose on 24 February.

He is asymptomatic and was detected on 29 April as part of the hospital's proactive testing of staff. The man's test result came back positive for COVID- 19 on the same day. 

  • Fully-vaccinated cleaner

The 41-year-old female China national works as a cleaner at ISS Facility Services and is deployed to the TTSH Ward 9D. She received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 27 January and the second dose on 22 February.

She is asymptomatic and was detected on 29 April as part of the TTSH’s proactive testing of staff in Ward 9D. Her test came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day. Her serological test result has come back negative. 

  • Patient, aged 65

The 65-year-old Singaporean woman has been warded in Ward 9C since 19 April. She was detected as part of the hospital's proactive testing of patients on 29 April, and her result came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day. 

The hospital had locked down Ward 9C and tested all staff and patients who had been in the ward as a precautionary measure. All other patients in Ward 9C have tested negative for COVID-19, while results for staff are pending, said the MOH.

  • Patient, aged 77

The 77-year-old Singaporean woman was admitted to the hospital's Ward 9D on 22 April. She had tested negative for COVID-19 on 26 April while warded. 

The next day, she was discharged to United Medicare Centre (Toa Payoh) Nursing Home. On 28 April, as she had been identified as a patient who had stayed in Ward 9D, she was isolated and tested. Her test came back positive for COVID- 19 on the same day.

"The TTSH has stopped all patient transfers to intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) facilities until swabs for patients and staff in lockdown wards are completed and cleared," said the MOH.

The ministry added that it has reminded ILTC facilities to be vigilant and closely monitor patients transferred from the TTSH from 18 April onwards. This includes the isolation and/or segregation of these transferred patients from the rest of the residents where possible and close monitoring of their health condition. 

"In addition, all prevailing precautionary measures, including infection prevention and control measures, adherence to Personal Protective Equipment guidelines, split team arrangements for patient-facing staff, and visitation policies in the respective ILTC facilities will continue," the MOH said.

All 1,100 inpatients and 4,500 staff members at the hospital will be swabbed, with the former to complete swabbing by Friday evening. Staff members will complete their swab tests by the weekend.

Community care facility cleaner cluster: 2 new cases, 3 in total

Singapore's latest active cluster, the "Case 62553" cluster, was announced on Friday by the MOH.

  • Bakery sales assistant

The 41-year-old Malaysian man is a household contact of the Vietnamese woman. He developed a fever and cough on 28 April and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic where he was tested for COVID-19. 

As he had been identified as a close contact of the woman, he was contacted by the MOH on 28 April and placed on quarantine. 

The man reported his symptom and was conveyed in an ambulance to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 on 29 April. His serology test result is negative.

  • Cleaner deployed at community care facility

She is a 26-year-old female permanent resident who works as a cleaner employed by Exceltec Property Management and is deployed at a community care facility at Tuas South. She is a household contact of the Malaysian man and a colleague of the Vietnamese woman.

At work, the PR dons full personal protection equipment (PPE), including an N95 mask, face shield, gown, and gloves, said the MOH.

She developed a cough and sore throat on 28 April. As she had been identified as a close contact of the Vietnamese woman, she was contacted by the MOH on 28 April. She was placed on quarantine and tested for COVID-19 on the same day. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 29 April and she was conveyed in an ambulance to Alexandra Hospital. Her serology test result is negative.

NUS senior research fellow cluster: 2 new cases, 5 in total

Two community cases on Friday are linked to a 34-year-old male Indian national who works as a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 15 April.

There are now five cases linked to the "Case 61993" cluster, which was named after the man's case number. One of the infections in the cluster previously announced by authorities is the man's elder brother, a 35-year-old male Indian national who is a household contact. The work pass holder was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 16 April.

  • Elder brother's wife and baby girl

His elder brother's wife is a 33-year-old female Indian national who is a dependant’s pass holder. The homemaker and their four-year-old girl are the newest additions to the "Case 61993" cluster.

As they had been identified as close contacts of her husband's brother, they were placed on quarantine on 15 April. 

They were tested for COVID-19 during quarantine on 16 April, and both their tests were negative. The mother and daughter pair developed acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms on 28 April, and were tested again after reporting their symptoms. 

"This time, their test results came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 29 April and they were conveyed to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital," said the MOH.

NUS student unlinked community case

The remaining case, currently unlinked, is a 20-year-old Indian national who is an NUS student. He resides on the Yale-NUS College campus, and last attended classes on 12 April. 

The NUS student had been in India from 21 March last year to 20 January, and was a close contact of two confirmed COVID-19 cases while he was in India, said the MOH.

He developed a fever, sore throat, and body aches on 26 April and self-isolated in his room. He was tested for COVID-19 by the NUS University Health Centre on 28 April, and his result came back positive on 29 April. 

"His Ct value was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load, and his serology test result has come back positive. He could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection which are no longer transmissible and infective to others, but given that we are not able to definitively conclude when he had been infected, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," added the ministry.

The ministry also added 13 new places to a list of public venues visited by COVID-19 community cases while infectious, including three units at VivoCity, a Sheng Siong Supermarket outlet at Geylang, and a Prime Supermarket outlet at Woodlands.

Meanwhile, all public places visited by the 13 community cases in the TTSH cluster – including places of worship and those in at least nine malls – will be closed for two days for cleaning and to facilitate the testing of staff there for the coronavirus, the multi-ministerial taskforce on the pandemic said on Friday.

15 imported cases, including 2-year-old girl

Among the 15 imported cases, two are Singaporeans and two are PRs who returned from India.

Three others are dependant’s pass holders – including a 2-year-old baby girl – who arrived from India and Nepal.

One case is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from Malaysia, while another is a work pass holder who arrived from Nepal.

The remaining six cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, all of whom are foreign domestic workers. A 33-year-old female work permit holder who arrived from Indonesia is Friday's sole imported case who is symptomatic.

All 15 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notices.

Authorities on Friday announced that long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to, or transited in, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be barred from entering or transiting through Singapore from 11.59pm on Saturday.

The restrictions will also apply to those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore. It will not apply to Singaporeans and PRs.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 13 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 60,751 cases – or 99.4 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 113 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 251 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 30 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.

Among the 202 confirmed cases reported from 24 to 30 April, 81 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 95 have tested negative, and 26 serology test results are pending.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

More Singapore stories:

Mall shops, places of worship linked to TTSH cluster to close for 2 days

COVID-19: Social interactions should be limited to two per day – MTF

Singapore bars non-residents with recent travel in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting