Coronavirus: Singapore

TTSH cluster death: Family visited patient in last moments

An 88-year-old Singaporean woman, who was part of the recently announced Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, died from complications due to Covid-19 yesterday.

The Ministry of Health said last night that she had been warded in Ward 9D from April 14, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 on April 28. She had a history of cancer, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, stroke and high cholesterol levels. Singapore now has 31 deaths from the virus.

"In her last moments, special arrangements were made for her family to videoconference her and visit her from outside her isolation room," the hospital said in a Facebook post last night.

Three of the seven new community cases announced yesterday are linked to the TTSH cluster - two women, aged 86 and 74, and a 70-year-old man.

All three are Singaporeans, and two are patients of Ward 9D. The 86-year-old woman is the spouse of a patient in the same ward.

This brings the size of the cluster to 16, including the woman who died. Nine others are patients, one is a patient's spouse, and five are staff, including two doctors and a nurse. The nurse, who was the first case detected, was working in Ward 9D.

Separately, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said Edgefield Secondary School in Punggol will shift to home-based learning this week after a 15-year-old student tested positive on Friday.

She developed a sore throat on Wednesday, and a runny nose and loss of smell the next day. She reported sick while she was in school on Thursday, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic, where she was tested.

Her result came back positive the next day, and she was taken to National University Hospital.

MOE said students, staff and external vendors who had been in close contact with the student will be placed under quarantine, and the school premises will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

All other students, staff and external vendors will need to be swabbed for the coronavirus.

  • Update on cases

  • New cases: 34

    Imported: 25 (5 S'poreans , 4 permanent residents, 5 dependant's pass holders, 4 work pass holders, 4 work permit holders, 2 short-term visit pass holders, 1 special pass holder)

    In community: 7

    In dormitories: 2

    New community cases in the past week: 37 (10 unlinked cases)

    Active cases: 383

    In hospitals: 111 (0 in ICU)

    In community facilities: 272

    Deaths: 31

    Patients with Covid-19 who died from other causes: 15

    Total discharged: 60,750

    Discharged yesterday: 14

    TOTAL CASES: 61,179

MOE said the move to online learning from Tuesday to Friday is because it will take some time to complete and receive the results of the Covid-19 swab tests. Tomorrow is a school holiday.

MOE said: "Pending their test results, all those involved in the school's Covid-19 swab testing should also minimise contact with others and avoid crowded places as a precautionary measure."

The fifth case announced yesterday is a 19-year-old studying at Singapore Management University (SMU). She had been attending classes virtually, except for a physical visit to SMU on April 21.

She arrived from India on Dec 28 last year and served her stay-home notice (SHN) at a dedicated facility. While she was serving her SHN, she was identified as a close contact of another case during their flight here, and was placed on quarantine from Dec 29 to Jan 11.

She tested negative on Jan 8, but was detected when she took a pre-departure swab on April 28 for a trip. She was asymptomatic at the time, and was taken to Changi General Hospital when her result came back positive the next day.

The next case is a 22-year-old Malaysian who works as a spa therapist at Spa 9 in Holland Drive. She developed a runny nose on April 28 and sought medical treatment at a GP clinic, where she was tested for Covid-19. Her test result came back positive the next day.

The final case is a 50-year-old manager at DIC Asia Pacific in Shenton Way, who had gone to work only on April 26 and 27 in the last month.

She had been in Japan from March 13 to April 9, and served her SHN upon her return to Singapore at a dedicated facility until April 23. She tested negative on April 22.

She developed body aches on April 27 and a fever the next day, and sought medical treatment at a GP clinic on April 29, where she was tested. Her test result came back positive the next day, and she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Two cases were reported in the dormitories: A 35-year-old Myanmar work permit holder and a 23-year-old Indian work permit holder. They stayed at Pasir Panjang Residence in Harbour Drive, had been fully vaccinated and were asymptomatic when detected.

They were 25 imported cases reported yesterday. They came from a variety of locations including Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines and Britain.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 02, 2021, with the headline 'TTSH cluster death: Family visited patient in last moments'. Subscribe