SINGAPORE: Five patients who had been warded in Ward 9D at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), as well as a nurse who works in the emergency department are among the eight new COVID-19 cases linked to the cluster there.

The TTSH cluster, Singapore’s first hospital COVID-19 cluster, has grown to 35 cases since a nurse who works in Ward 9D tested positive for the virus on Apr 27.

The cluster is also currently the largest of the country’s nine active clusters.

The five patients were all transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) for isolation on Apr 28.

tan tock seng grafa may 3 snapshot of cases

FIVE WARD 9D PATIENTS

One of the patients is a 94-year-old Singaporean woman who was admitted to Ward 9D on Apr 9.

She was tested for COVID-19 on Apr 28, and her result was negative. 

She developed a cough on May 2, and was tested again. This time, her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection.

Her serology test result is negative, indicating a likely current infection.

Another patient is an 82-year-old Singaporean woman who was warded in Ward 9D from Apr 21.

She was tested for COVID-19 on Apr 28 and May 1, and both results were negative. 

On May 2, she was tested again even though she was asymptomatic, and this time her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection. 

Her serology test result is negative.

tan tock seng hospital timeline grafa until may 3

READ: Hospitals to defer non-urgent surgeries, admissions to conserve resources as COVID-19 cases rise

The third patient is a 70-year-old Singaporean man who was admitted to Ward 9D on Apr 21.

He was tested for COVID-19 on Apr 30, and his result was negative. On May 2, he was tested again for COVID-19 even though he was asymptomatic, and his result came back positive. 

His serology test result is negative.

The fourth patient is a 53-year-old Singaporean woman who had been warded in Ward 9D from Apr 26.

She was tested for COVID-19 on Apr 28 and Apr 30, and both results were negative. 

She developed a cough on May 1, and was swabbed the next day. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection. 

Later on the same day, she developed a fever and runny nose. Her serology test result is negative.

READ: COVID-19: Staff placed on leave of absence, 4 wards locked down as Tan Tock Seng Hospital moves to contain cluster

The fifth patient is a 79-year-old Singaporean man who had been warded in Ward 9D from Apr 22. 

His COVID-19 test on Apr 28 was negative. 

On May 2, he was tested again for COVID-19 even though he was asymptomatic, and his result came back positive the next day. 

His serology test result is negative.

TTSH STAFF MEMBERS

Three of the cases are TTSH staff members. They were tested as part of the hospital’s testing of all staff members there.

The first case is a 22-year-old Malaysian woman. She is employed by UEMS Solutions, a facility management company, and deployed as a porter at TTSH. 

She tested negative for COVID-19 on Apr 28, but developed a sore throat the next day. 

However, she did not seek medical treatment, and subsequently developed fever and body aches on May 1. 

On May 2, she sought treatment at the TTSH emergency department and tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Her serology test result is negative.

The second staff member is a 25-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a nurse at TTSH’s emergency department.

She tested negative for COVID-19 on Apr 30. She then developed a fever and sore throat on May 2, and sought treatment at TTSH emergency department. 

Her test result came back positive on the same day. Her serology test result is pending.

The third is a 26-year-old Vietnamese woman who works as a nurse at Ward 9D. 

Her COVID-19 test on Apr 28 was negative.

She was placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility. On May 2, she was tested again for COVID-19 even though she was asymptomatic, and this time her test came back positive. 

Her serology test result was negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection.

She had received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 18, and the second dose on Feb 8.

READ: ‘I’m used to it already’: Tan Tock Seng Hospital staff on the risks of working at the heart of a COVID-19 cluster 

Since a nurse who works in Ward 9D first tested positive for the virus on Apr 27, four hospital wards have been locked down and close contacts of those infected, including patients, visitors and staff members who have been in the affected wards have been quarantined.

An elderly patient at TTSH who had contracted COVID-19 while warded died from complications related to the disease, MOH said on Saturday. 

The 88-year-old woman is Singapore’s 31st COVID-19 fatality and the first in more than a month. She had been staying in Ward 9D since Apr 14, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 28.

TTSH completed swab testing of all inpatients in its main wards on Apr 30 and all results came back negative, said MOH on Sunday.

The hospital will also be testing all 12,000 staff on campus. As of Sunday, the hospital had swabbed 7,000 staff. Priority will be given to staff working in clinical areas over the next few days, said MOH.

Singapore reported 17 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

Besides the eight people linked to the TTSH cluster, there are two other linked community cases and seven imported cases. There were no new cases in the dormitories.

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