SINGAPORE - Another 12 residents and two employees at a welfare home in Admiralty have tested positive for the Covid-19 infection, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said on Monday (April 27).
The affected residents and staff of Acacia Home are now warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said the ministries in a joint statement.
The 14 of them were tested for the virus on Sunday, after a 62-year-old resident at the home tested positive on Saturday night.
As a precautionary measure, a total of 167 people, including 115 residents, 31 employees and 21 contractors who have been to the home to do essential work in the past four weeks were tested for the virus.
Apart from the infected 14, the remaining 153 tested negative. Contract tracing is ongoing, said the statement.
Acacia Home is a welfare home for destitute people, and is managed by Sathya Sai Social Service and funded by the MSF.
All its staff and residents have been placed on quarantine. Sathya Sai Social Service will deploy employees from other facilities to ensure the home's operations are not disrupted.
The home has also been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected promptly, said the joint statement.
The MSF said its immediate priority is to support the home, its staff and residents.
"To safeguard their health and well-being, all staff are now required to use full personal protection equipment. All residents must now always wear a surgical mask. Since 25 April 2020, Acacia Home has stopped taking in new residents," the ministry added.
The MSF said it was monitoring the situation closely and would step up checks.
It also reminded all homes to abide by the precautionary measures given in the ministry's advisories.
"Residential and community-based facilities are reminded to be vigilant when conducting health checks on staff and residents, and to observe high standards of personal and environmental hygiene," the statement said.
"This includes keeping the facility's environment clean, and frequent washing of hands with soap - especially before the preparation and consumption of meals, after toilet visits or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing."
Experts have said the elderly are the most vulnerable in the coronavirus pandemic, with higher risk of complications and death.
In Singapore, 14 people have died from Covid-19 infection. They were all seniors between 64 and 95 years old.
Last Thursday, there were two new confirmed cases of Covid-19 at two nursing homes: the Sunshine Welfare Action Mission (Swami) home in Sembawang, and Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital in Serangoon.
This means there are now at least 20 confirmed infected cases among staff and residents in five nursing homes.