86-year-old resident of old age home among 47 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore

An 86-year-old resident of Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane was confirmed to have the coronavirus on March 31, 2020. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - Singapore confirmed 47 new cases of the Covid-19 infection on Tuesday (March 31), including the first known case at an old age home.

According to the Agency for Integrated Care, an 86-year-old resident of Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Tuesday.

The patient is now in an isolation room at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Staff who had close contact with the patient are now under quarantine, and the home will be closed off to visitors until April 30.

A new cluster has also emerged at the Westlite Toh Guan dormitory, with four new cases confirmed on Tuesday. The first was confirmed on Monday.

Of the new cases, 31 were local, with 13 linked to existing clusters or individuals. Another 18 are unlinked.

A Changi General Hospital housekeeper was among the new cases. The Ministry of Health said he is a 22 year-old male Indian national who is a long-term pass holder with no recent travel history.

He reported onset of symptoms on March 29, and subsequent test results confirmed the coronavirus infection on Monday afternoon. He is currently warded in an isolation room at Changi General Hospital (CGH).

Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work for about two hours on Monday.

Meanwhile, the MOH said that 12 more cases of Covid-19 have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

In all, 240 have fully recovered from the disease and have been discharged.

The latest numbers bring Singapore's total number of cases to 926. There remain 423 patients in hospital, with 22 of them critically ill and in intensive care. There have been three deaths so far.

There are 260 infected patients who are clinically well currently isolated and cared for at Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and the community isolation facility at D'Resort NTUC.

MOH's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday that while there is some level of community transmission, the authorities believe that it is not widespread yet.

He cited how two previously separate clusters - the Dover Court International School cluster and the nightspot Hero's cluster - were found to be linked through a teacher from the school going to the bar on the same day the other infected patrons were there.

Associate Professor Mak said: "At this point in time, we are not seeing indicators that this is widespread, we believe to a large extent that many of these clusters are linked and we continue to work to try to establish this."

Meanwhile, SingPost said in a statement on Tuesday evening that it has one more employee who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases at the company to six.

It said the employee is a team leader who mainly works at the mail sorting facility, and his primary duties involve managing team members operating the letter sorting machines.

"He works in a staff-only area that cannot be accessed by members of the public and uses a separate staff entrance at the rear of the SingPost building," said SingPost.

"The employee does not pass through the SingPost Centre shopping mall when he enters or leaves his workplace."

It is working with MOH on further contact tracing. A number of its employees who had contact with previously confirmed cases have also been served quarantine orders.

SingPost said that it has cleaned and disinfected its entire facility over the weekend as a precautionary measure.

The company also stressed that "there is currently no evidence of contracting the virus through mail and postal items at this time".


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