9 of 14 new COVID cases in Singapore linked to Bukit Merah View Market cluster

·Editorial Team
·5-min read
People wearing protective mask exercise at a park on June 2, 2021 in Singapore. Singapore enters a month long heightened alert from May 16 to June 13 to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases in the local community. New restrictions on movements and activities have been introduced such as limiting social interaction to two, prohibiting dining out and a reduced operating capacity at shopping malls, offices and attractions. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People wearing protective mask exercise at a park on 2 June, 2021 in Singapore. (PHOTO: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (15 June) confirmed 14 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,315.

All of them are local cases in the community, of whom nine of 10 linked cases belong to the 115 Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre cluster. The cluster now has 25 cases.

Tuesday marks the 51st consecutive day with local cases reported as well as the first time since 29 June last year to have no imported cases reported.

"Amongst the new cases today, four are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while 10 were symptomatic," said the MOH.

The four unlinked cases in the community are:

  • a 41-year-old Filipino woman who is a foreign domestic worker (received first dose of vaccine)

  • a 36-year-old Singaporean woman who is a homemaker

  • a 30-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a sales representative at Imperva Singapore

  • a 35-year-old Singaporean man who is currently unemployed

Separately, one case has been linked to the 36-year-old woman, who is his family member and household contact. He is a 35-year-old Singaporean man who works as a senior executive at NETS.

The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 93 in the week before to 60 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from 10 in the week before to 18 in the past week.

The MOH also announced the closure of two clusters – "Case 63290" and White Sands – as there have been no cases linked to them for the past two incubation periods, or 28 days. Singapore currently has 44 active COVID-19 clusters.

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115 Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre cluster: 9 new cases, 25 in total

The cluster was first linked to a 74-year-old Singaporean man who works at a sundry store at the food centre. The fully-vaccinated man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 9 June.

Three of the nine new cases linked to the cluster work at the food centre and had been quarantined earlier:

  • a 37-year-old female India national who is a food stall vendor

  • a 77-year-old Singaporean man who is a food stall vendor (fully vaccinated)

  • a 39-year-old male India national who is a food stall vendor (fully vaccinated)

Of the remaining six, most are family members or household contacts, or both, of cases in the cluster:

  • a 30-year-old male India national who works as a supervisor at Keong Hong Construction (quarantined earlier)

  • a 33-year-old female permanent resident who is a cleaner employed by SATS Facility Management (quarantined earlier)

  • a 35-year-old Singaporean woman who is a teacher at KidsCampus at Chai Chee

  • a 87-year-old Singaporean man who is a retiree; frequently visits 115 and 116 Bukit Merah View (link to cluster cases not mentioned)

  • a 35-year-old male India national who works as a sales executive at Halnaz Frozen Goods (link to cluster cases not mentioned)

  • a 72-year-old Singaporean man who is a retiree (fully vaccinated, link to cluster cases not mentioned)

The food centre, initially planned for a 13 to 15 June closure, will now be closed to members of the public till 26 June, said the MOH on Tuesday. This is due to the detection of more cases amongst the market and food centre staff and their close contacts, which suggests that there is "ongoing spread with wider transmission", the ministry noted.

All staff and tenants who have been working at 115 Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre from 25 May have been placed on quarantine, and are tested during quarantine.

The MOH said that special testing operations have commenced on Monday for all staff and tenants who have been working in 116 Bukit Merah View from 25 May. 

Free COVID-19 testing has also been extended to members of the public who had visited the shops at 115 and 116 Bukit Merah View between 25 May and 12 June, it added. 

These testing operations are in progress, said the MOH.

"All visitors to 115 and 116 Bukit Merah View between 25 May and 12 June are advised to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit. They are encouraged to see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell," the ministry stressed.

99% of total cases have recovered, 2 in ICU

With 17 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 61,911 cases – or 99.4 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 137 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 233 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 34 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 96 confirmed cases reported from 9 to 15 June, 40 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 41 have tested negative, and 15 serology test results are pending.

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