Coronavirus: Fifth cluster found at another church

Before his hospitalisation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, case 49 had gone to work at Grace Assemby of God's Tanglin (above) and Bukit Batok premises. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

A fifth cluster of the coronavirus infection in Singapore was announced by the Health Ministry yesterday, after two infected people were found to have visited the Grace Assembly of God church.

Known as case 48 and case 49, the duo are Singaporean men with no recent travel history to China.

Case 48, who is 34 years old, lives in Bukit Batok Street 25 and visited Malaysia on Jan 26. He reported he had symptoms on Feb 1, and went to four general practitioner (GP) clinics on five days: Feb 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10.

On Feb 10, he was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and was confirmed to have the virus the next day.

Before his admission, he visited Plaza Singapura, Star Vista and Fusionopolis. He also went to work at Grace Assembly of God's Tanglin and Bukit Batok premises.

Case 49, who is 46 years old, reported the onset of symptoms on Feb 3, and visited a GP on Feb 8. He was sent to the National University Hospital's (NUH) emergency department, but was discharged that day.

He was back at NUH on Feb 10, and confirmed to be infected on Feb 11. He is now warded in an isolation room at NUH. Before his hospitalisation, case 49, who lives in Toh Guan Road, had gone to work at Grace Assembly of God's Tanglin and Bukit Batok premises.

This is the second church group to be identified as having a cluster.

Life Church and Missions in Paya Lebar was identified as a cluster last Saturday evening, with five cases - 8, 9, 31, 33 and 38 - linked to it. The church said that cases 8 and 9 were foreigners who had visited the church on their own.

The latest two cases - 48 and 49 - were announced just one day after it was disclosed that a 39-year-old Bangladeshi worker, who had worked at the same Seletar work site as another infected Bangladesh national, had the virus. The two workers are cases 47 and 42, respectively.

The work site in Seletar Aerospace Heights, meant to expand aerospace manufacturer Bombardier Aviation's facilities, is now Singapore's fourth cluster.

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The first cluster here was formed at the Yong Thai Hang health products store in Cavan Road, in Jalan Besar, that was visited by a tour group from Guangxi, China, on Jan 23.

To date, there are nine cases in that cluster, case numbers 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34 and 40.

SPH Brightcove Video
In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Health's contact tracing teams work two shifts, seven days a week, to find close contacts of patients. This is how contact tracing is carried out.

Singapore's second cluster was formed from a business meeting at the Grand Hyatt hotel from Jan 20 to 22, and is being investigated by the World Health Organisation after several foreigners at the meeting were infected. To date, three locals - cases 30, 36 and 39 - have been infected from this cluster.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: Fifth cluster found at another church. Subscribe