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SINGAPORE -The number of cases related to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster in Covid-19 increased to 13 on Friday (April 30). On Tuesday (27 April) a nurse working in a general ward was diagnosed. The cluster was founded. Here’s what we know about the first hospital cluster Covid-19 in Singapore.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Image Source: The Straits Times

1. When were the cases detected?

TTSH was tested positive for Covid-19 on 27 April by a fully immunized nurse. The 46-year-old female from the Philippines developed cough and sore throat and headache and tried to obtain TTSH medical attention.

The Ward 9D, a general ward, deployed her.

2. Who are among those affected?

As of 30 April, Covid-19 received positive tests from 13 TTSH patients and staff. Six patients, a doctor and an assistant trainee are included.

One of the patients is a 72-year-old woman who developed Covid-19 symptoms during her time on TTSH. On April 28, an infection of Mrs Ong Kim Choo has been detected. On April 20, she was admitted for rheumatoid arthritis to a C class ward.
Madam Ong, who has not been vaccinated, told The Straits Times that she is highly concerned about her family. She said: “I am worried about my grandson. I told them not to visit me. Now, their family life has been affected.”

3. What is the likelihood of more cases emerging?

The next day, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on April 30 Singapore plans to detect more Covid-19 cases linked to this cluster. He added that if the broad transmission is found, the authorities may take stricter actions.
“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.

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Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Image Source: The Straits Times

4. What are the measures taken so far?

As part of mass screening, all 1,100 hospitals and 4,500 employees at TTSH will be flooded.

Four affected wards have also been locked off to prevent the spread of the virus. Cross-infection control staff and patient movement in every central station has been minimized, with the exception of critically ill patients no visitors allowed into the hospital.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Image Source: The Straits Times

5. What does a lockdown of TTSH wards entail?

“When a ward is locked down, this means that there is no in-or-out movement within the ward, with restricted movement for both patients and staff, and only for essential testing, such as a test in the radiology department, for instance,” said TTSH chief executive Eugene Soh.

In addition, a dedicated group of staff takes care of the ward.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Image Source: The Straits Times

6. Are there other precautionary measures taken?

All places visited during their infection by Covid-19 cases that are part of the TTSH cluster will be cleaned for the next two days.

The NTUC FairPrice outlets, restaurants, Orchard Street stores, and mosques are among the places visited by patients during their infection periods, from April 15 to April 27.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Image Source: The Straits Times

7. What are the experts saying about the cluster?

The TTSH cluster is of concern, but there is no need to be overly worried, said several experts.

Professor Dale Fisher, a senior infectious disease consultant at the National University Hospital (NUH), said: “We know Covid is very unforgiving. Such a cluster could have occurred anywhere and we just have to make sure that if there is a case at a hospital, it will be picked up and not allowed to spread.”

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Source: The Straits Times

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