287 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on April 9, link between Mustafa Centre and dormitories clusters found

Singapore has seen a massive rise in COVID-19 cases in foreign worker dormitories. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Lawrence Wong
Singapore has seen a massive rise in COVID-19 cases in foreign worker dormitories. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Lawrence Wong

The Multi-ministry taskforce announced 287 new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore on April 9. This is the largest single-day increase in cases in the country and is more than double the number from April 8. The total number of cases in Singapore now stands at 1910. 

Out of the new cases, 219 are linked to existing clusters, with at least 160 cases linked to the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol. Additionally, 19 are linked to previous cases, while 46 are unlinked cases with contact tracing underway and 3 are imported cases. 

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The Multi-ministry taskforce, along with Singapore Police and the Ministry of Defence, has also found a link between the clusters at Mustafa Centre and the Project Glory construction site as well as a number of foreign worker dormitories: S11 Dormitory@Punggol, Sungei Tengah Lodge, Tampines Dormitory Cochrane Lodge II  and Toh Guan Dormitory. 

"We believe that the workers had visited Mustafa and they subsequently transmitted the infection to their co-workers," said Professor Kenneth Mak, Director of medical services at the Ministry of Health Association. "Transmission most likely occurred through close contact,for example at meal times, during breaks, and also between co-workers at work due to physical proximity at work sites.”.

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Singapore has seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases at foreign worker dormitories with Sungei Tengah Lodge becoming the fourth such dormitory to become an isolation area from midnight on Thursday, in addition to S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Westlite Toh Guan dormitory and Toh Guan Dormitory.

“We have had foreign worker cases before, including cases in dormitories. But this time, it is different, because there are many more venues outside of dorms, like Mustafa Centre and the Project Glory (construction site), where foreign workers had gathered and worked together, and the virus spread among them,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

“And when they went back to the dorms, they transmitted it to fellow dorm residents. So it is very likely that the virus spread has been going around for some time in dorms and we are now seeing the indications of it,” he added. 

An additional 314 cases have been discharged from acute care. A total of 29 patients remain in intensive care.