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27 Covid-19 cases detected at home for people with intellectual disability: MSF

SINGAPORE — The authorities have found 27 people who were infected with Covid-19 at a housing facility for people with intellectual disability, including the first positive case that was detected on May 31.

A view of Mindsville@Napiri in Hougang.

A view of Mindsville@Napiri in Hougang.

SINGAPORE — The authorities have found 27 people who were infected with Covid-19 at a housing facility for people with intellectual disability, including the first positive case that was detected on May 31.

In a press statement on Wednesday (June 2) night, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said that four of the infections at Mindsville@Napiri in Hougang were announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday, while another 22 have tested positive preliminarily.

MSF said that all 255 residents and staff members were made to undergo testing after the detection of the first positive case, a 37-year-old female Singaporean resident at the facility. 

“Of the 27 cases, 23 were asymptomatic and were discovered through proactive testing,” MSF said.

“Those who presented with symptoms were promptly isolated, while awaiting their swab test results.” 

The four new cases announced by MOH were:

  • A 30-year-old female Filipino nursing aide 

  • A 55-year-old Singaporean woman 

  • A 64-year-old Singaporean woman 

  • A 47-year-old Singaporean woman

The three Singaporean women are residents at the home.

MSF did not give details of the other 22 who tested preliminarily positive.

The 37-year-old resident whose infection was the first to be detected had developed a runny nose and cough on May 29, and then had a fever the next day. 

She was taken to a polyclinic the following day, where she did an antigen rapid test and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. 

Both tests came back positive for Covid-19 on May 31 and her serology test result for past infection is pending.

MSF said on Wednesday that the housing facility has also stopped all admissions and discharges, disallowed all visitors, and completed a thorough cleaning and disinfection of its premises. 

These were on top of measures that had already been put in place earlier, including organising residents into cohorts and employees into split teams, and restricting resident cohorts and work teams to pre-designated zones within the facility. 

“All other residents, staff and other close contacts including clients, visitors and vendors have been placed on quarantine and will be regularly tested during quarantine,” MSF said. 

It also said that it is working with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents at Mindsville@Napiri. 

More than 90 per cent of the facility's staff members and residents have been vaccinated during February and March this year. 

The facility had put in place safe distancing measures since the pandemic began last year, including the restricting of visitors, as well as the movement of its residents, and suspending large-group activities.

Employees and residents also had to have their temperatures screened twice a day. 

Since Singapore went into a state of heightened alert on May 16 due to the rising number of community cases, the facility further reduced the number of pre-registered visitors from four to two.

Staff members caring for residents in isolation rooms have to wear full personal protective equipment. All employees have been told to limit their movements and activities when they are outside the housing facility. 

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MSF Covid-19 coronavirus MINDSville@Napiri intellectual disability

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