Covid-19 cluster linked to chef working at Changi Prison Complex kitchen closed

The Singapore Prison Service said that all 13 of its inmates who contracted Covid-19 have recovered. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A cluster at Changi Prison Complex has been closed after no new cases were linked to it in the past 28 days, which make up two incubation periods.

The Singapore Prison Service said on Thursday (July 8) night that all 13 of its inmates who contracted Covid-19 have recovered, and that it has put in place enhanced measures to detect and contain Covid-19.

The cluster's index case was a 39-year-old Chinese man who worked as a chef at the prison complex and tested positive for Covid-19 on May 13. The 13 inmates were cellmates and worked in the same prison kitchen.

Since June 7, the Singapore Prison Service has replaced its sentinel testing regime, where 20 per cent of its staff, vendors and volunteers undergo rostered routine testing.

Now, all staff, visitors and volunteers who enter the prison and frequently come in contact with inmates are scheduled for testing every two weeks.

Those who enter prison institutions on an ad-hoc basis and who are in contact with inmates also have to take antigen rapid tests before entering the prison.

The Singapore Prison Service will be resuming activities for inmates gradually in the light of the enhanced measures.

For instance, tele-visits have resumed since July 1, and since Monday, vendor and volunteer-run programmes have resumed.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 16 new Covid-19 cases, of which three were locally transmitted.

Two of the locally transmitted cases were unlinked.

There were also 13 imported cases, taking Singapore's tally to 62,668.

Twelve were detected on arrival in Singapore and one tested positive during stay-home notice or isolation.

There are currently 22 active clusters of infection, with three to 94 cases each.

As at Thursday, 84 patients remained in hospital. Most are well and under observation, but 10 require oxygen and two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Over the last 28 days, 23 patients required supplemental oxygen or were admitted to intensive care. Among them, two died. Twenty of these patients were not vaccinated while three had received one dose of the vaccine.

So far, about six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered, and about 2.2 million people are fully vaccinated, the MOH said in an update on the national vaccination programme.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 58 in the week before to 23 in the past week.

However, the number of unlinked cases in the community increased from eight in the week before to nine in the past week.

Singapore has had 36 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Read the full MOH press release here.

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