Four TTSH wards locked down as Covid-19 cluster grows to 13; more cases expected, says Gan Kim Yong

MOH will be carrying out surveillance testing for patients who have recently been discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
MOH will be carrying out surveillance testing for patients who have recently been discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Four wards in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) have been locked down following the detection of a cluster of 13 cases there.

Singapore expects to detect more Covid-19 cases linked to this cluster in the coming days, and may take more stringent measures should widespread transmission be found, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Friday (April 30).

He added that all public places visited by the cases during the time they were likely infectious will be closed for two days for cleaning. This will help reduce the chance of the virus spreading from undetected cases in the community, and also help facilitate the testing of staff, Mr Gan said.

The minister, who along with Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chairs the multi-ministerial task force tackling the pandemic, was addressing reporters at a virtual press conference.

The Health Ministry will be carrying out surveillance testing for patients who have recently been discharged from TTSH, as well as people who had visited the hospital on or after April 18.

All close contacts of the identified cases, including patients, visitors and staff who have been in the affected wards, have been placed under quarantine.

"These recent cases are another reminder that the virus is alive and circulating," Mr Gan said, urging Singaporeans to continue to be socially responsible and stick to the safe management measures, even if they have been vaccinated.

The TTSH cluster consists of five staff members - two doctors, a nurse, a healthcare assistant and a cleaner - and eight patients.

Four staff members and one patient had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while another patient had received one dose.

Read next - Covid-19 cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital: What we know so far