New COVID cluster at ION Orchard, 23 new cases identified in Singapore

·Editorial Team
·6 min read
People seen along Orchard Road on 24 May 2021 amid Singapore's Phase 2 (Heightened Measures) period. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
People seen along Orchard Road on 24 May 2021. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (24 June) confirmed 23 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 62,493.

Fourteen are local cases in the community. Of them, 12 are linked and the remaining two are unlinked. Thursday marks the 60th consecutive day with local cases reported.

The nine remaining cases are imported, including two Singaporeans and two permanent residents who returned from India. One of the returning Singaporeans is an eight-year-old boy.

The remaining imported cases are three work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia, all of whom are foreign domestic workers, as well as two short-term visit pass holders who arrived from Bangladesh for work projects here.

"Amongst the new cases today, 15 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while eight were symptomatic," said the MOH.

The ministry also identified one new cluster at ION Orchard, as well as announced the closure of three clusters linked to "Case 63515", "Case 63708", and Harvest @ Woodlands dormitory. This brings the current number of active COVID-19 clusters in Singapore to 37.

The ION Orchard cluster is linked to five previously reported cases, including a baker at Takashimaya's St Leaven outlet and a senior executive at NETS. 

The cluster was first linked to a 35-year-old Malaysian woman who works as a retail assistant at ION Orchard's and AMK Hub's Four Leaves outlets. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 7 June.

The two unlinked cases in the community on Thursday are:

  • a 35-year-old Singaporean man who works as a porter at Changi General Hospital (fully vaccinated; tested preliminarily positive for Delta variant)

  • a 78-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree (fully vaccinated)

Separately, a 74-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree has been identified as linked to a previously reported case but is not considered as part of any COVID-19 cluster here.

The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 93 cases in the week before to 92 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from 13 cases in the week before to 22 cases in the past week.

Bukit Merah View market cluster: 3 new cases, 85 in total

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

The three additions had been quarantined earlier:

  • a 34-year-old female PR who is a homemaker

  • a 33-year-old Singaporean woman who works part-time at J&T Express Singapore

  • a 12-year-old Singaporean boy who is a student at Crest Secondary School

Authorities on Thursday said that at least 46 of these cases were not “household-related”. At least 16 cases had been detected from surveillance or community testing operations, while 27 had been isolated or quarantined before detection.

Some 51 per cent were not vaccinated while 36.7% of them were fully vaccinated. Authorities are also awaiting the results of phylogenetic studies to confirm whether other clusters in the area – 119 Bukit Merah View, 121 Bukit Merah View, and 90 Redhill Close – are linked to the cluster at the market.

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'Case 64349' cluster: 4 new cases, 8 in total

The cluster is named after the case number of a 24-year-old Singaporean man who works as a financial consultant with Prudential and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 19 June.

All four new cases had been quarantined earlier as they were identified as close contacts of cases in the cluster:

  • a 22-year-old Singaporean man who is currently unemployed

  • a 23-year-old Singaporean man who works at Skyworks Global

  • a 22-year-old Singaporean woman who is a software engineer at NCS

  • a 23-year-old Singaporean man who works at Unity Assurance PAC

'Case 64359' cluster: 2 new cases, 6 in total

The cluster is named after the case number of a 38-year-old Filippino woman who is a foreign domestic worker and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 20 June.

All two new cases had been quarantined earlier:

  • a 44-year-old Singaporean man who works as an engineer at SIA Engineering Company (fully vaccinated)

  • a 37-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a senior executive at Victoryland

'Case 64184' cluster: 1 new case, 14 in total

The cluster is named after the case number of a 27-year-old male India national who works as an engineer at Ecoxplore and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 12 June.

The new addition is a 72-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree. The fully vaccinated woman was placed on phone surveillance on 18 June as she was identified as a contact of a case in the cluster.

'Case 64135' cluster: 1 new case, 4 in total

The cluster is named after the case number of a 57-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a promoter at ION Orchard's Guardian outlet. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 10 June.

The new case had been quarantined earlier as he was identified as a family member and household contact of two cases in the cluster. He is a 29-year-old Singaporean man who is currently unemployed.

99% of total cases have recovered, 4 in ICU

With 27 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 62,140 cases – or 99.4 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 136 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while four of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 182 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 35 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 127 confirmed cases reported from 18 to 24 June, 36 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 79 have tested negative, and 12 serology test results are pending.

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