71 Omicron cases in Singapore so far, including 6 locally transmitted

One suspected Omicron cluster has been detected at an Anytime Fitness outlet in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.

Naren Sankar

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Published: 21 December 2021, 1:46 PM

There are 71 COVID-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant as of Monday (Dec 20), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Of these, six are locally transmitted. The remaining 65 are imported.

The 71 cases include 45 Omicron infections that were reported on Monday, of which 42 are imported. Three are locally transmitted cases.

One suspected cluster linked to the Omicron variant has been detected at an Anytime Fitness outlet in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. It is the first such cluster reported in Singapore.

Three COVID-19 cases have been linked to the gym, of whom two have tested “preliminarily positive” for the Omicron variant. The result for the remaining case is pending, said MOH.

MOH did not specify if the three cases linked to the Anytime Fitness cluster were included as part of the 71 Omicron cases in Singapore.

None of the cases in the cluster had recent travel history. MOH said epidemiological investigations found that the three cases visited the gym between Dec 15 and Dec 17.

All three cases are fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms. The cases are also being ringfenced through contact tracing, added MOH.

The first case is a 24-year-old unemployed man. He developed a sore throat and fever on Dec 18 and sought medical attention at a general practitioner (GP) clinic. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on the same day.

The second case is an 18-year-old student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She was last in school on Dec 15.

She developed a sore throat and fever on Dec 18. She sought medical attention at a GP clinic and her PCR test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Dec 19.

The remaining case is a 21-year-old student at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy but had not been to school recently. He developed a sore throat on Dec 18 and sought medical attention at a GP clinic, and his result came back positive on Dec 19.

MOH said staff members and visitors of Anytime Fitness at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre who are identified to be close contacts of the cases will be placed on quarantine.

As a precautionary measure, other visitors to the gym between Dec 15 and Dec 17 will be issued health risk warnings (HRW). They will also be contacted by MOH for a one-time targeted PCR test.

“All visitors to the affected premises are advised to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit. They are encouraged to see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell,” said MOH.

“Given its high transmissibility and spread to many parts of the world, we should expect to find more Omicron cases at our borders and also within our community. It is important for everyone to continue to play their part and remain vigilant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to come forward to receive your vaccination or booster dose when offered,” it added.

MOH announced on Nov 30 that anyone suspected or confirmed of being infected with the Omicron variant will not be allowed to undergo home recovery. Instead, they will be taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for isolation and management of the disease.

Full contact tracing for these cases will be conducted and identified close contacts will not be allowed to self-isolate at home.

These close contacts will be placed on a 10-day quarantine at designated facilities, and PCR tests will be conducted at the start and end of their quarantine.

There were 195 new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Monday (Dec 20).

Of the new infections, 141 were from the community and 64 of those infected were aged between 12 and 39.

Two deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on Dec 20. The national death toll now stands at 815.

There were 396 cases discharged from the hospital over the past day. Currently, 506 cases remain warded in hospitals, with 57 cases requiring oxygen supplementation. There are 36 cases that remain in the Intensive Care Unit.

In the last 28 days, 21,909 cases have been recorded, of which 98.6 per cent had no or mild symptoms and 0.9 per cent have required oxygen supplementation.

As of Dec 19, 96 per cent of the eligible population, 87 per cent of total population, are fully vaccinated, 88 per cent have received at least one dose and 34 per cent have received boosters.

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