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TTSH cluster of 9 Covid-19 cases includes 6 patients; MOH steps up measures to curb spread

SINGAPORE — Six Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) patients and two staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 following an earlier infection involving a nurse, thus forming Singapore’s first hospital cluster.

TTSH cluster of 9 Covid-19 cases includes 6 patients; MOH steps up measures to curb spread
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  • There were eight people linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster as recorded on April 29
  • Six were patients, including a 57-year-old man who was moved from Ward 7D to Ward 9D
  • The seventh was 30-year-old male doctor who attended to patients in Ward 9D
  • The eighth was a 19-year-old healthcare assistant trainee

 

SINGAPORE — Six Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) patients and two staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 following an earlier infection involving a nurse, thus forming Singapore’s first hospital cluster.

The hospital in Novena has locked down Ward 7D and Ward 9D, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday (April 30) night, adding that testing is in progress for both wards.

"All close contacts of the cases, including patients, visitors and staff who have been in the affected wards, will also be placed on quarantine," the ministry said.

TTSH has also stepped up clinical surveillance for all inpatients who may develop fever and acute respiratory infection symptoms.

As a precautionary measure, all patients and staff members in other TTSH wards will also be tested for the coronavirus, including those who have no symptoms.

“This additional testing will enable us to draw out any hidden links. Our strategy is to aggressively test and draw a wide ring around the cases, to try and prevent further spread,” MOH said.

The ministry also said that the hospital has taken extra steps to minimise the risks of transmission.

For instance, movement of workers and patients in all the main wards has been minimised to prevent cross-infection, and no visitors are allowed into the hospital except for critically ill patients.

Elective cases will be deferred except for urgent ones, and accident-and-emergency cases that are not life-threatening will be redirected to other hospitals.

The nurse who first tested positive on April 27 was deployed at Ward 9D, a general ward.

She was fully vaccinated against Covid-19, having received her second dose on Feb 18.

After her infection was confirmed, TTSH locked down the affected ward and tested patients and staff members who had been there, and the eight new cases were detected.

One was a 30-year-old male doctor who is a Singapore permanent resident. He had attended to patients in Ward 9D but had not gone to work after onset of symptoms.

He developed a fever on April 27 and sore throat the next day and sought medical treatment at a clinic on Tuesday, where he was tested for Covid-19.

His test result came back positive on April 28, and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Disease (NCID) in an ambulance.

His serological test result for past infection has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

He had received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 18 and the second on Feb 8.

Another worker at the hospital who contracted the virus is a 19-year-old Singaporean who is a healthcare assistant trainee there.

She did not have any symptoms and was detected on April 28 as part of the hospital’s proactive testing of patients and staff members in Ward 9D.

“Her test came back positive for Covid-19 on (April 28), and she was conveyed to NCID in an ambulance. Her serological test result has come back negative,” MOH said.

A 57-year-old Singaporean man who is a patient at Ward 9D is another case that makes up the cluster at TTSH.

He was initially warded at Ward 7D but was transferred to Ward 9D.

MOH said that the man had developed a fever on April 16 but did not seek medical treatment.

Two days later, as his fever persisted and he developed a runny nose and cough, the man sought treatment at TTSH’s emergency department on April 18.

He was tested for Covid-19 then but the result was negative, MOH said.

He was then placed at Ward 7D before he was moved to Ward 9D.

“As he had persistent fever, he was reviewed by an infectious diseases physician and transferred to an isolation ward on April 27. On April 28, he tested positive for Covid-19 and was transferred to NCID. His serological test result has come back negative,” MOH said.

Five other patients at Ward 9D make up the rest of the cluster at TTSH.

They were detected as part of the hospital’s proactive testing of patients in the ward.

Among them, three did not have symptoms and two had developed fever or acute respiratory infection symptoms on April 25 and 28.

The eight new cases at TTSH were among 16 new community cases reported in Singapore on Thursday.

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Covid-19 coronavirus MOH TTSH Tan Tock Seng Hospital

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