COVID-19: What we know about the 5 clusters in Singapore so far

A security officer at Changi Airport's Terminal 3 seen wearing a face mask on 6 February 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Of the 50 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus detected in Singapore as of 12pm on Wednesday (12 February), five clusters involving 21 cases have so far emerged.

These groups of infections involve six locations - Chinese health products shop Yong Thai Hang in Lavender, The Life Church and Missions Singapore in Paya Lebar, the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel in Orchard, a construction site in Seletar and Grace Assembly of God church at both its locations in Tanglin and Bukit Batok.

Meanwhile, eight locally transmitted cases still have no established links to any previous cases or travel history to mainland China.

Yong Thai Hang medicinal shop – 9 cases

The first local cluster to emerge was at Yong Thai Hang, located along Cavan Road, which is popular with Chinese tourists. The infections are believed to have originated from a group of Guangxi tourists who visited Singapore last month. Two group members were confirmed by the Chinese authorities to have carried the virus.

Among the local cases is a 32-year-old Singaporean tour guide who brought the group to the shop. She first had symptoms on 29 January. Her 40-year-old husband was also infected. He worked at Diamond Industries Jewellery Company at Harbour Drive, which was visited by the same tour group from Guangxi. 

Also infected was a 28-year-old Singapore permanent resident who worked at the shop. Her 45-year-old Singaporean husband, who works a private-hire driver, their six-month-old son, as well as their 44-year-old Indonesian maid later tested positive for the virus.

Three other Singaporean shop staff also fell ill to the virus - a 36-year-old man and two women aged 40 and 48.

The Life Church and Missions Singapore – 5 cases

In all, three locally transmitted cases and two imported cases were linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore, along Paya Lebar Road.

The imported cases are a married couple from Wuhan, both 56, who arrived in Singapore on 19 January and developed symptoms five days later. The couple had stayed at their family home along Lorong Lew Lian in Upper Serangoon and also visited the church while they were here.

The locally transmitted cases are a 53-year-old man and two woman aged 39 and 52, all of whom are Singaporeans. They started having symptoms between 23 January and 3 February.

The man had been in Malaysia on 6, 11 and 17 January, while the 39-year-old woman was in Malaysia from 22 to 29 January.

Grand Hyatt Singapore – 3 cases

A private business meeting by British firm Servomex held at the Grand Hyatt Singapore from 20 to 22 January involving 109 employees - 94 foreigners and 15 Singaporeans - was another identified cluster. The original source of the infections has not been established.

Three people in Singapore tested positive for the virus - two Singaporean men aged 27 and 51 and a 38-year-old woman who is a Singapore permanent resident. They first had symptoms between 21 and 29 January.

The 51-year-old man travelled to Malaysia from 23 January to 2 February, while the woman was in Johor Bahru from 25 to 28 January.

Apart from the three locally detected cases, at least four foreign participants tested positive after they returned home - a 41-year-old Malaysian man, two South Korean men, aged 36 and 38, as well as a 53-year-old British man.

The Malaysian reportedly passed the virus on to his sister, 40, and mother-in-law, 65.

Meanwhile, the Briton became known as a “super-spreader” in media reports. After the Grand Hyatt meeting, he spent several days at a French ski resort, where 11 Britons were infected with the virus. Five cases were diagnosed back in the UK, five in France and one in Spain.

Seletar Aerospace Heights - 2 cases

Two Bangladeshi men, both 39 and work pass holders, tested positive for the the virus on 8 February and Monday.

The duo lived at separate lodgings but worked on the same site along Seletar Aerospace Heights.

The first worker started having symptoms on 1 February and went to a general practitioner (GP) two days later, before going to Changi General Hospital (CGH) on 5 February. He went for a follow-up appointment at Bedok Polyclinic on 7 February and was thereafter admitted to the intensive care unit at CGH, before being transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

The second worker first had symptoms on 6 February and went to a GP the next day. He went to NCID on Monday.

Assembly of God church - 2 cases

Two Singaporean men, aged 34 and 46, who worked for the church at both its Tanglin and Bukit Batok branches tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old man was in Malaysia on 26 January. He first had symptoms on 1 February, and went to four different GP clinics on 2 February, 4 February, 7 February, Sunday and Monday. He was hospitalised at the NCID on Monday.

Meanwhile the 46-year-old man first had symptoms on 3 February and went to a GP on 8 February before going to the emergency department at the National University Hospital (NUH) the same day. He was discharged from the hospital the same day before being admitted again to NUH on Monday.

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