Nine people from two households in the same block at Tampines Street 11 tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday (2 Jul).
At a virtual press conference, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said MOH detected a COVID-19 case living in the block on 23 June, a 66-year-old Singaporean man had worked at The Leo Dormitory and was picked up during the ministry’s proactive screening of dormitories.
A family cluster was then formed when six members of his household subsequently tested positive for the virus.
On 27 June, a 15-year-old Singaporean female living in the same block but on a different floor was confirmed to have been infected of the virus. One of her household members also tested positive following contact tracing. Both patients reported that they had not interacted with the previously confirmed COVID-19 cases.
According to Mr Gan, the emergence of cases from the same HDB block “immediately caught the attention of our contact-tracers, and our antennas were up. They decided to investigate further.”
Residents from 58 households in Blk 111 Tampines St 11 put under active phone surveillance
Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong speaking to the media at a virtual press conference. | Screenshot/Gov.sg
MOH said this prompted them to take extra precautions and place residents of all 58 households living in the same section of the block that share a common lift lobby and stairwell under active phone surveillance.
The health ministry is also facilitating COVID-19 testing for the households and their visitors. As of the announcement, a total of 160 individuals—residents and visitors—have been contacted.
The common areas in the block have also been disinfected and regular cleaning up has been stepped up.
The Health Ministry has offered COVID-19 testing all the households and their visitors.
Residents and visitors of 58 households in Blk 111 Tampines St 11 were offered COVID-19 testing | Image source: Screenshot/Google Maps
Mr Gan said the households were assessed to have a lower risk of being infected given that they are not really close contacts of the confirmed cases. “But we want to be a little bit more careful because asymptomatic transmission could occur,” Mr Gan said.
Around 60 people have been swabbed as of Wednesday, and all tested negative. Mr Gan said that another 29 are expected to be tested over the next two days, and an update on the results will be given when ready.
188 New COVID-19 Cases Reported on 2 Jul
As of 2 July at 12pm, the MOH has preliminarily confirmed an additional 188 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore.
The vast majority of whom are Work Permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.
There are 10 cases in the community, of whom eight are Singaporeans/Permanent Residents and two are Work Pass holders. In addition, there is also an imported case who had been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore.
The number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of four cases per day in the week before to an average of eight cases a day in the past week.
Mr Gan said the increase in the average number of new COVID-19 cases in the community per day is “not unexpected”, with Singapore in Phase 2 of its reopening.
“This is not unexpected as more activities resume and the number of interactions increases. A similar trend can be observed in many other countries that have exited from lockdowns and restrictions,” Mr Gan said.
The Health Minister noted that the majority of community cases in the past two weeks were picked up from active surveillance and screening.
“We want to detect cases early so that we can ringfence them and prevent large clusters from forming,” Mr Gan added.
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