Coronavirus cases in S'pore hit 1,000 with 74 new patients; 10 cases from old folks' home, including a 102-year-old

Ten new cases are linked to the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The number of coronavirus cases hit 1,000 in Singapore on Wednesday (April 1) with the Ministry of Health announcing 74 new cases.

The new cases included those at two new clusters, including the first cluster at an old folks' home.

A further 10 cases have now been linked to the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane after one case was first identified there on Tuesday. Among the new cases is a 102-year-old woman, the oldest Covid-19 patient to date in Singapore.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) said that eight of the 10 new cases are residents of the Lee Ah Mooi home. The other two are a staff member who cared for female residents of the home and a family member of the employee.

The family member works in a non-patient facing role at Moral Home for the Aged Sick.

"AIC has also been in contact with Moral Home, which has stepped up vigilance in monitoring the health status of residents and staff. So far, all its residents are well," it said.

The Lee Ah Mooi home worked with the Health Ministry and the AIC to test all the home's residents and symptomatic staff after the first confirmed case was identified on March 31. All staff of the home are on quarantine order, and the MOH and AIC are helping the home with manpower support, so that residents will not be affected.

As an added precaution, all nursing homes will be closed to visitors till April 30. Nursing homes will offer caregivers alternative options such as telephone or video calls.

Safe distancing measures will also be carried out in the homes and those with more than 200 beds will have to implement split-zones.

The second new cluster is at a workers' dormitory at 55 Sungei Kadut Loop. Two new cases are linked to a previous case from that dormitory.

There are now at least three dormitories with active clusters. On Wednesday, there were six more cases at the S11 dormitory at Seletar North Link which makes a total of 10 confirmed cases, and two more cases at the Westlite Toh Guan dormitory on Toh Guan Road East, which makes a total of seven confirmed cases.

There is also one more case linked to the serviced apartment Wilby Residences, bringing the total number of cases there to eight, and one more case linked to the cluster at Hero's, the bar on Circular Road, which now has a total of seven cases.

All in, 54 of the 74 cases on Wednesday are local cases and 20 are imported. Of the local cases, 29 are linked to previous cases and clusters while 25 are currently unlinked.

Five cases were discharged from hospitals and community isolation facilities, with the number of those recovered now at 245.

Of the 461 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. There are 24 patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

There are also 291 cases who are clinically well being isolated at Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and the Community Isolation Facility at D'Resort NTUC because they still test positive.

Singapore has reported three deaths from the virus since the first case was reported here on Jan 23, with all fatalities coming last month.

Separately, Unity Pharmacy has said one of its part-time retail assistants has the coronavirus. It is unclear if the worker was included in the the ministry's numbers on Wednesday.

The employee was last at work at the Nex mall outlet on Monday and tested positive on Wednesday. The staff member visited a doctor on Tuesday with a fever.

Unity Pharmacy said it is closing its outlet at Nex for two days for cleaning. It will reopen on Friday. Unity said it has put in place precautionary measures since the onset of the outbreak, including cleaning shelves and checkout counters every four hours and taking the temperature of staff members and suppliers twice a day.

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Earlier on Wednesday, FairPrice said it has closed its FairPrice Finest supermarket in Bedok Mall after one of its staff tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

It has also put all staff who work in the store on leave of absence, in addition to quarantining the employee, who it said replenished stock and had minimal contact with customers.

The employee last worked on March 25, and was on leave on March 26 before developing a fever and seeing a doctor on March 27. It is also not clear if this staff member was included in the 74 new cases announced on Wednesday.

The Bedok supermarket will be closed for deep cleaning until Saturday, and FairPrice is helping the authorities with contact tracing.

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