5 new Covid-19 cases linked to S'pore's largest active cluster in Bukit Merah View

The cluster at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre is now Singapore's largest open cluster with 70 cases.
The cluster at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre is now Singapore's largest open cluster with 70 cases.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A technical executive who works at Nanyang Polytechnic was one of five new cases linked to the cluster at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre on Saturday (June 19). It is now Singapore's largest open cluster with 70 cases.

In all, there were 14 infections in the community reported on Saturday, with 10 linked to previous cases and four unlinked. 

The Bukit Merah cluster now exceeds the 63 cases from the Jem and Westgate cluster.

The Nanyang Polytechnic executive, 42, is fully vaccinated. She developed a cough on June 12 and a sore throat the following day.  She saw a doctor at a polyclinic on June 14 and was tested for Covid-19. Her test result was negative, but as she had been identified as a close contact of a previous case, she was placed on quarantine on June 16.

Her second Covid-19 test on June 17 came back positive and her serology test was negative, suggesting she was recently infected.

Another new case linked to the cluster is a 45-year-old operations staff at Paxxus who was also diagnosed while serving quarantine. The permanent resident is also a close contact of a previous case and was placed in quarantine on June 14.

She was tested for Covid-19 the next day and her test result came back negative on June 16. She subsequently developed a fever, sore throat and runny nose on June 17 and was tested again. This time, her test result came back positive. Her serology test result is pending.

The other three cases linked to the Bukit Merah View cluster were detected through community surveillance testing for people who have visited the 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre and other locations related to the cluster.

They include an 81-year-old retiree who developed a cough on June 15 but did not go to the doctor, and a 41-year-old Indonesian domestic worker who had visited the 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre but was asymptomatic.

There was also a 35-year-old Singaporean working at J. Roger Preston who developed a sore throat on June 13 and saw a doctor the next day but was tested negative for Covid-19. She was later found to have Covid-19 during community testing for residents of 121 Bukit Merah View.

Meanwhile, two new clusters have been detected. One of them is linked to a 47-year-old Indonesian domestic worker who was confirmed to have Covid-19 June 16.

Three new cases, a 66-year-old Singaporean man who is a retiree - an 89-year-old woman who is a retiree, and a 64-year-old woman who works at Hong Leong Finance at 16 Raffles Quay - have been linked to her. They are the domestic worker's household contacts. 

Another cluster is linked to a 32-year-old Indonesian domestic worker, who was found to have Covid-19 on June 16.

Another Indonesian domestic worker, 30, who is a close contact, was placed in quarantine on June 16 and found to have Covid-19 on June 18. She did not have any Covid-19 symptoms.

There is one case linked to the Tektronix cluster, which now has a total of eight cases. The latest case is a 14-year-old student from Canberra Secondary and a family member of an engineer at Tektronix South-east Asia who was confirmed to have Covid-19 on May 24. The boy was already quarantined on May 25 and was last in school on May 18. 

Of Saturday's four unlinked cases, one is a Vietnamese national, 31, who works as a pastrymaker at Bakery Point at 920 Tiong Bahru Road, where Redhill MRT station is located.

Besides the Vietnamese baker, who did not have any Covid-19 symptoms and was detected during surveillance testing for those who have been to 86 Redhill Close, the other cases were:

- A 46-year-old Singaporean housewife, who is fully vaccinated, but developed a fever and runny nose on June 16. She saw a doctor two days later.

- An 86-year-old woman who is a retiree. She was asymptomatic, but her infection was detected during community surveillance testing for visitors to 115 and 116 Bukit Merah View.

- A 44-year-old Indonesian domestic worker, who was also detected during surveillance testing.

There were seven imported cases confirmed on Saturday as well. The total of 21 new cases reported on Saturday took Singapore's total to 62,403.

The imported cases are returning Singaporeans or permanent residents. They had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

There were 109 community cases in the past week, up from 32 in the week before. The number of unlinked cases has also risen to 18 in the past week, compared with 14 cases in the week before.

There are currently 153 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 193 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are patients who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for the virus.

Singapore has had 34 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Read the full MOH press release here.