350 released inmates and officers at Selarang Park Complex test negative for Covid-19

The Ministry of Health announced a cluster of six Covid-19 cases at Selarang Park Complex on July 31, 2021.
The Ministry of Health announced a cluster of six Covid-19 cases at Selarang Park Complex on July 31, 2021.PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE

SINGAPORE - About 350 released inmates as well as officers at the work release centre in Selarang Park Complex have tested negative for Covid-19, after six infections were identified there.

The released inmates, who are referred to as supervisees, are serving the tail end of their sentence in community-based programmes. They go to work in the community in the day and return to the centre after work.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the cluster of six cases on Saturday night (July 31).

The Singapore Prison Service (SPS), which manages Selarang Park Complex, said on Sunday evening that the six cases are all supervisees from the work release centre, named Institution S2. Two of them are in hospital while the remaining four are in a community care facility.

They had all received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, along with about 80 per cent of the supervisees at Institution S2.

On the chain of events leading to the cluster, SPS said a supervisee was identified by MOH as a close contact of a Covid-19 case in the community last Monday.

He was placed on quarantine order that day, and transferred to a government quarantine facility afterwards. But he has not yet tested positive for Covid-19.

Last Tuesday, prior to the result of the first supervisee's Covid-19 swab test, the other 10 supervisees he was housed with were isolated and tested as a precautionary measure.

The test of one of them returned positive last Wednesday, while the remaining nine tests were negative, said SPS. The supervisee who tested positive was transferred to a hospital after he said he was unwell.

His last swab test, conducted on July 21 as part of a rostered routine testing regime, was negative, SPS added.

The other nine supervisees were tested again last Thursday while in isolation. Five of them tested positive on Saturday. One of them was transferred to a hospital as a result of his symptoms, while the remaining four are isolated at a community care facility.

SPS said most of the other supervisees at Institution S2 will return to work. But supervisees deemed to have had transient contact with the positive cases will have to undergo further Covid-19 tests before they can return to work.

"Employers who are affected by the absence of these supervisees have already been contacted," SPS added.

"SPS will carry out further testing for the rest of the supervisees in the coming days and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

SPS has conducted deep cleaning of affected areas.

It also said it is committed to the safe and secure custody of inmates.

"We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure swift action is taken to ring-fence cases when potential Covid-19 exposures are detected," it said.