Singapore records 37th COVID-19 fatality

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore reported its 37th COVID-19 fatality yesterday, an 83-year-old woman who was unvaccinated.

Identified as Case 64342, the Singaporean woman lived in Bukit Merah and was linked to the 121 Bukit Merah View cluster, said its Ministry of Health (MOH).

The woman developed a fever and cough on June 16 but did not seek medical attention until she was taken to National University Hospital on June 18, where she tested positive for COVID-19 the next day.

The health ministry said she had a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.

The woman was linked to the 121 Bukit Merah View cluster on June 21, along with two other female retirees aged 86 and 80. The cluster was closed on July 19.

The cluster, along with other smaller COVID-19 clusters in the neighbourhood, emerged after COVID-19 cases were linked to the market and food centre at 115 Bukit Merah View.

On June 24, the ministry’s Director of Medical Services Associate Professor Kenneth Mak said that more than half of the COVID-19 cases linked to the market and food centre were not vaccinated.

About a third were fully vaccinated, and the majority of these cases were either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, he said.

The virus could have spread through the cluster by the use of common facilities – including toilets – at the market and food centre, Associate Professor Mak said.

“There are many who work in the vicinity, who will visit both the market and the food centre for their meals. And some of the cases that we have interviewed have reported queuing up for at least 30 minutes, which would ordinarily be considered a significant period of close contact if these visitors were close together,” he added.

The cluster also contains “next generation of transmission” cases involving those who did not visit the market or food centre but had close contact with other cases who visited the places or worked there.

People walk across a bridge at a residential housing estate in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP