COVID-19: Singapore confirms eight new cases, four from SAFRA Jurong cluster

Members of the public crossing a traffic junction in Singapore. (PHOTO: Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (7 March) confirmed eight new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Singapore, bringing the total to 138.

Four of the new cases are part of the cluster involving a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February. One is linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore. Two are likely to be imported cases, and one is currently unlinked.

Eight more patients have been discharged from the hospital. This brings the total of those who have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged to 90, more than half of the total confirmed cases.

Suspension of singing activities, classes at CCs and RCs

The cases in the cluster linked to the private dinner function held at SAFRA Jurong involved singing activities and classes conducted by the People’s Association (PA) at several community clubs (CCs) and residents’ committees (RCs).

In view of this, additional precautionary measures will be implemented from Saturday to reduce the risk of further transmission. These are:

  • a 14-day suspension of all activities and classes attended by the confirmed cases at the affected CCs and RCs. These are mostly singing classes, but include a small number of other activities like line dancing and qigong.

  • 14-day suspension of all PA-organised singing classes at the affected CCs and RCs.

The current list of affected CCs and RCs is:

  • Community Clubs: Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Chua Chu Kang, Jurong Green, Keat Hong, Nanyang, Zhenghua.

  • Residents’ Committees: Ayer Rajah Zone 3, Bukit Panjang Zone 4, Zone 6 and Zone 7, Hong Kah North Zone 4, Nanyang Zone 4, Teck Ghee Zone J, Yew Tee Zone 8.

Cases 131, 133, 134, 137: Linked with SAFRA Jurong cluster

Case 131 is a 66-year-old male Singapore citizen who is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong. He is warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH).

He reported onset of symptoms on Monday and had sought treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic on the same day and on Thursday. He presented at NTFGH on Thursday, and subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work as a delivery personnel at Liang Guan Hak Kee at Pandan Crescent, and had visited Ayer Rajah Zone 3 RC at Teban Gardens Road. He stays at Pandan Gardens.

Case 133 is a 62-year-old female Indonesian national who is a Singapore social visit pass holder, and she is currently warded in an isolation room at National Univesity Hospital (NUH).

She reported onset of symptoms on 29 February and had sought treatment at a GP clinic on Sunday and at Pioneer Polyclinic on Wednesday and Friday. She was referred to the emergency department at NUH on Friday, and subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Jurong West Street 61.

Case 134 is a 56-year-old female Singapore citizen who had been in Malaysia on 21 February. She is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and is linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster.

She reported onset of symptoms on 28 February and had sought treatment at a GP clinic on Friday, and was referred to NCID on the same day. Subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had visited various community clubs and residents’ committees. She stays at Jurong West Street 71.

Case 137 is a 60-year-old male Singapore citizen who was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. He is linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster.

Case 132, 135: Imported cases

Case 132 is likely to be an imported case involving a 37-year-old female Singapore permanent resident who had been in London from 23 to 27 February. She is warded in an isolation room at NUH.

She reported onset of symptoms on 29 February and had sought treatment at two GP clinics on 29 February, Wednesday and Thursday. She presented at the emergency department at NUH on Thursday, and subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon.

Prior to hospital admission, she had visited Camden Medical Centre for an unrelated condition. She stays at Tanglin Road.

Case 136 is likely to be an imported case involving a 36-year-old male Italian national Singapore work pass holder who had recently travelled to the US from 7 to 22 February, and to Italy from 23 to 29 February. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

Case 138: Linked with The Life Church and Missions Singapore cluster

Case 138 is a 26-year-old male Singapore Citizen who has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.

He is a close contact of Case 66, a 28-year-old male Singaporean Grace Assembly of God employee, and a family member of Case 83, a 54-year-old male Singaporean linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore.

Case 135: No links yet

Case 135 is a 40-year-old male Singapore Citizen who has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at Singapore General Hospital.

More details on previous cases

Case 124 is likely to be an imported case, involving a 37-year-old female Singapore permanent resident who had been in Germany from 27 February to 5 March. She is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Admiralty Link.

Case 125 is a 65-year-old female Singapore citizen who s currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. She is a family member of Case 128, and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong. Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Jurong West Street 72.

Case 126 is a 77-year-old male Singapore citizen who is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. He had been in same ward as Case 109, a 70-year-old male Singapore citizen, at SGH from 29 February to 1 March for an unrelated condition, before Case 109 had been confirmed to have COVID-19 infection.

Case 126 was discharged from SGH on 1 March. As he had been identified as a close contact of Case 109, he had been issued a quarantine order on Wednesday. He reported onset of symptoms on Thursday, and was conveyed to NCID in an ambulance. Subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Friday morning.

Prior to hospital admission, he had mostly stayed at his home at Eunos Crescent.

Case 127 is a 64-year-old female Singapore citizen who is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. She is a close contact of Case 117, a 52-year-old female Singapore citizen, and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong. Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Bukit Panjang Road.

Case 128 is a 70-year-old male Singapore citizen who is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID. He is a family member of Case 125, and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong. Prior to hospital admission, he had mostly stayed at his home at Jurong West Street 72.

Case 129 is a 68-year-old female Singapore citizen who is currently warded in an isolation room at NTFGH. She is a family member of Case 130, and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong.

Prior to hospital admission, she had visited a shop at 966 Jurong West Street 91. She works at Jurong Port Road Food Centre as a food handler, but had not been at work since onset of symptoms. She stays at Jurong West Street 71.

Case 130 is a 66-year-old male Singapore citizen who is currently warded in an isolation room at NTFGH. He is a family member of Case 129, and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong.

Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work at Jurong Port Road Food Centre as a food handler, and visited Bukit Batok Community Club at Bukit Batok Central. He stays at Jurong West Street 71.

8 in ICU; most remaining cases stable

On Wednesday, MOH said that most of the 48 remaining patients in the hospital are stable or improving. Eight remain in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

As of noon, the ministry has identified 3,452 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 446 are currently quarantined, and 3,006 have completed their quarantine.

MOH advises Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province, home to Wuhan where the virus originated, and all non-essential travel to mainland China, South Korea, northern Italy, Iran and Japan.

COVID-19’s death toll surpasses SARS epidemic

The novel strain belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also started in China.

It likely originated from Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market, where live animals or products – such as foxes, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines, and camel meat – are sold.

Declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 97 territories beyond mainland China. The WHO also said that cases being transmitted by people who have never travelled to China could be the "tip of the iceberg".

To date, the virus has left more than 3,000 people in China dead and sickened over 102,000 globally. A total of 431 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China.

At 7,041 confirmed infections including 48 deaths, South Korea has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after mainland China. Iran has the third-highest number with 4,747 cases and 124 deaths. Italy has the fourth highest number with 4,636 cases and 197 deaths – the most deaths outside mainland China

The global tally also includes cruise ship Diamond Princess, moored off Japan, which accounted for 696 cases, including six related deaths so far. Five Singaporeans who were on board the quarantined cruise ship have been allowed to disembark it.

Patients suffering from the new strain may exhibit fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness – such as coughing or difficulty in breathing – as well as pneumonia-like symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

However, some who have died from it have not displayed symptoms of fever, according to details released by China’s National Health Commission, potentially complicating global efforts to check for infected travellers as they arrive at airports and other travel hubs.

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