New Covid-19 cluster at Bugis Junction with 20 staff infected; free testing for those who visited from Aug 17 to 24

Bugis Junction was declared a Covid-19 cluster on Aug 24, 2021.
Bugis Junction was declared a Covid-19 cluster on Aug 24, 2021.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - A new Covid-19 cluster at Bugis Junction with 20 cases - all staff who work at the mall - was announced on Tuesday (Aug 24).

Staff who have been working in affected shops will be tested, and close contacts of confirmed cases will be quarantined, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Free Covid-19 testing will also be offered to members of the public who visited the retail shops or used the services and facilities at Bugis Junction between Aug 17 and Tuesday, said MOH.

It added that individuals who had only walked through the mall to get to neighbouring buildings or Bugis MRT station need not be tested.

The ministry advised all visitors who had gone to the mall during those dates to monitor their health closely and minimise social interactions as far as possible for 14 days from their date of visit. They should see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell, MOH added.

People can book an appointment for a free swab test at regional screening centres and other venues from Wednesday to Aug 31.

There were also two other new clusters announced - one with eight cases linked to the Selarang Halfway House in Upper Changi, and another with four cases linked to an individual.

Of the 111 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases announced on Tuesday, 24 are linked to the North Coast Lodge dormitory cluster, which has grown to 86 cases.

Testing at the North Coast Lodge - located in an industrial area in Woodlands - has been completed, with 12 test results pending. In all, more than 5,300 residents had been swabbed over the past three days, said MOH.

Of the remaining 87 cases, 24 are linked to previous cases and had already been quarantined. Another 30 were linked to previous cases and detected through surveillance, and 33 cases are currently unlinked.

There were also five imported cases who were already on stay-home notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival.

Among the 116 new cases are four seniors aged above 70 who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. MOH said they are at risk of serious illness.

There are currently 339 cases hospitalised, 20 of whom have serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation. Seven are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Of those who have fallen very ill, 23 are seniors above 60, 19 of whom are completely unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 322 cases in the week before to 290 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from 83 cases in the week before to 121 cases in the past week.

As at Monday, 78 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated, while 82 per cent have received at least one dose.

Read the full MOH press release here.