COVID-19: 9 new local cases, with 3 more linked to TTSH cluster

·Editorial Team
·8-min read
The exterior of Tan Tock Seng Hospital is pictured in Singapore on April 30, 2021, as authorities sought to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus after a cluster of cases were detected at the facility. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
The exterior of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore on 30 April 2021. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (1 May) confirmed 34 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,179.

In a press release, the ministry said that these include three more cases linked to the cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), where a 46-year-old female nurse deployed at ward 9D was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 27 April. In total, there are 16 cases linked to this cluster.

One of the cases in the cluster, an 88-year-old Singaporean woman, died on Saturday. She had a history of cancer, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, stroke and hyperlipidaemia, the MOH said.

The other locally transmitted cases include four others in the community and two residing in migrant worker dormitories. 

There are 25 imported cases, who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Of the new cases today, 26 are asymptomatic while eight were symptomatic.

Takashimaya, SingPost at ION, and VivoCity are among 13 new places visited by COVID-19 cases recently. These new locations and other places were visited from 17 to 29 April, including those from the TTSH cluster.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 11 cases in the week before to 37 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from four cases in the week before to 10 cases in the past week.

TTSH cluster: three cases from same ward

Among the three new cases in the TTSH cluster, one is an 86-year-old Singaporean woman whose husband had been warded in TTSH Ward 9D from 20 April to 22 April. She sought medical treatment for an unrelated condition at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Friday, and was found to have a fever. 

She was tested for COVID-19 and her test result came back positive on the same day. Her serological test result is pending. 

Another case is a 70-year-old Singaporean man who was admitted to TTSH Ward 9D on 22 April. He tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday while warded at TTSH as part of testing of staff and patients who have been in the affected wards. 

He was transferred to National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Wednesday. On Friday, he developed fever and shortness of breath, and was tested again. This time, his test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result has come back negative. 

The remaining case is a 74-year-old Singaporean woman who had been warded in TTSH Ward 9D from 23 April to 27 April. She was placed on quarantine on Thursday, and tested for COVID-19 on Friday during quarantine. Her test result came back positive on Saturday and she was conveyed in an ambulance to NCID. Her serological test result is pending.

Four unlinked community cases

Of the four unlinked community cases, one is a 19-year-old female Singapore permanent resident who is a student at Singapore Management University (SMU). 

She has been attending classes virtually, except for a physical visit to SMU on 21 April. She arrived from India on 28 December last year, and served SHN at a dedicated facility. While she was serving SHN, she had been identified as a close contact of a previous case during their flight to Singapore, and was placed on quarantine from 29 December to 11 January. Her test taken on 8 January during quarantine was negative for COVID-19. 

She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Wednesday in preparation for a trip. Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to Changi General Hospital in an ambulance. 

"Her Ct value was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load, and her serology test result has come back positive. She 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 she had been infected, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," MOH said.

Another unlinked case is a 22-year-old Malaysian woman who works as a spa therapist at Spa 9 at 41 Holland Drive. She developed a runny nose on Wednesday and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic, where she was tested for COVID-19. Her test result came back positive the next day. Her serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. 

The third unlinked case is a 50-year-old female Singapore permanent resident who works as a manager at DIC Asia Pacific at Shenton Way but had only gone to work on Monday and Tuesday in the past month. She had been in Japan from 13 March to 9 April, and served SHN upon her return to Singapore at a dedicated facility until 23 April. Her test taken on 22 April during SHN was negative for COVID-19. 

She developed body aches on Tuesday and a fever the next day, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Thursday, where she was tested for COVID-19. Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to the NCID in an ambulance. Her serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. 

The final unlinked case is a 15-year-old female Singaporean who is a student at Edgefield Secondary School, and was last in school on 29 April. 

She developed a sore throat on Wednesday, and subsequently a runny nose and anosmia the next day. She reported sick while she was in school on Thursday, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic, where she was tested for COVID-19. 

Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to the National University Hospital in an ambulance. Her serological test result is pending.

Two dormitory cases

One of the dormitory cases is a 35-year-old Myanmar man, who is a work permit holder who arrived in Singapore in January. He works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal and Brani Terminal. He resides at Pasir Panjang Residence. 

He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested on Wednesday. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 on the same day. His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on 13 April – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result was negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 14 January, and the second dose on 3 February. 

The other dormitory case is a 23-year-old Indian national, who is a work permit holder who arrived in Singapore in December last year. He works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal, and resides at Pasir Panjang Residence. 

He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested on Thursday as part of active case-finding following the detection of the Myanmar man's case. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day. His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on Wednesday – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serology test result was negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. 

He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 30 January, and the second dose on 22 February.

25 imported cases

Of the imported cases, five are Singaporeans and four are Singapore permanent residents who returned from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, UK and US. 

Another five are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India and Nepal. 

Four cases are work pass holders who arrived from India and Nepal. Another four are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, all of whom are foreign domestic workers. 

Another two are short-term visit pass holders who arrived from the Philippines. One arrived to visit family members who are Singaporeans, and the other is here for a work project. 

The remaining imported case is a special pass holder who is a sea crew. He arrived from India and had remained onboard until he was conveyed to a hospital.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 14 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Saturday, 60,765 cases – or 99.3 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 111 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 272 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 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 213 confirmed cases reported from 25 April to 1 May, 78 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 101 have tested negative, and 34 serology test results are pending.

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