SINGAPORE The Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster is currently the largest active cluster of COVID-19, with a total of 40 cases linked to it as of Tuesday, May 4.
It is also the first hospital COVID-19 cluster in Singapore.
On April 28, the Ministry of Health (MOH) first announced that a 46-year-old nurse working at TTSH had tested positive for COVID-19. She was deployed to Ward 9D and had completed her COVID-19 vaccination on February 18.
Identified as case 62541, the nurse developed a cough, sore throat and body aches on April 27 and sought medical treatment.
READ: COVID-19: Staff on leave, 4 rooms locked as Tan Tock Seng hospital moves to contain cluster
Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 the same day and she was referred to the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Ward 9D was locked down on April 28, the health ministry said.
Since the discovery of the first case at TTSH, the Ministry of Health has announced more cases linked to the cluster every day, which authorities say should happen.
Here’s a timeline of how the cluster has unfolded so far:
April 29: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS NINE CASES IN TOTAL
The Ministry of Health reports that six cases are patients of the 9D ward, the oldest being 94 years old.
One of them, Case 62561, exhibited symptoms before the nurse tested positive for COVID-19.
Giving a timeline of his case, the health ministry said the 57-year-old developed a fever on April 16 but did not seek medical treatment.
Two days later, he developed more symptoms and went to the TTSH emergency department where he tested negative for COVID-19, but was placed in ward 7D.
On April 20, he was transferred to Ward 9D. He was transferred to an isolation ward on April 27 after being examined by an infectious disease doctor.
Besides the nurse, two other TTSH employees tested positive – a 30-year-old male doctor and an 18-year-old medical assistant trainee.
Both are linked to the 9D department – the doctor treated the patients there, while the intern was deployed there.
The intern is asymptomatic and is detected as part of the hospital testing program, while the doctor is symptomatic.
The 7D district is the second closed district.
April 30: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS FOUR NEW CASES, 13 IN TOTAL
A 41-year-old cleaner who was deployed to the 9D ward, two patients from the same ward aged 65 and 77, and a 36-year-old doctor are said to have a COVID-19 infection.
Apart from the 77-year-old patient, the others were detected as part of proactive testing for TTSH.
The 77-year-old woman was returned to the United Medicare Center (Toa Payoh) nursing home in Ward 9D on April 27, after testing negative for the virus the day before.
On April 28, she was identified and isolated. She tested positive for the infection the same day.
TTSH locks down two other neighborhoods – Ward 9C and Ward 10B.
May 1: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS 3 NEW CASES, 16 IN TOTAL; 88-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DEAD
An 88-year-old woman whose case was reported among the cases on April 29 dies of complications from COVID-19. The woman had a history of cancer, hypertension, congestive heart failure, stroke and hyperlipidemia.
She is the 31st death from COVID-19 in Singapore.
The health ministry said two other patients who were in ward 9D, aged 70 and 74, tested positive for COVID-19.
The 70-year-old tested negative for COVID-19 on April 28 while hospitalized at TTSH as part of testing staff members and patients who were in affected wards.
He was transferred to NCID the same day and tested positive for the virus two days later.
An 86-year-old woman, wife of a patient from the 9D district, is now the third case linked to the cluster.
She sought medical treatment at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for an unrelated condition on April 30 and was tested after finding out she had a fever. She tested positive the same day.
May 2: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS 11 NEW CASES, 27 IN TOTAL
One of the 11 new cases is a physiotherapist who works in the 9D department. She tested positive after being placed in quarantine.
Five cases are patients discharged from the 9D department. They were placed in quarantine and tested positive for COVID-19. The cases are two male patients aged 79 and 84 and three female patients aged 60, 65 and 89.
Two other cases are patients from Ward 9D – aged 90 and 98.
The other three cases are family members who visited patients hospitalized in the 9D ward between April 18 and April 28. They tested positive during quarantine.
May 3: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS EIGHT NEW CASES, 35 IN TOTAL
Five cases are patients, aged 53 to 94, who were in ward 9D.
The other three are TTSH employees – a nurse in the emergency department, a nurse in the 9D department and a porter. Staff members were detected in testing for all hospital employees.
May 4: THE TTSH CLUSTER HAS FIVE NEW CASES, 40 IN TOTAL
The MOH reports five new community cases, all linked to the TTSH cluster.
The cases were detected from proactive testing of patients, visitors and hospital staff or their close contacts, and had previously been placed in quarantine, the ministry said.
Details of the new cases will be released overnight.
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