Ong Ye Kung
Yesterday we had 88 local cases, the highest in a single day for this year. It reflects the transmissibility of the Delta variant, and was a result of the combined effect of two big clusters – KTV and Jurong Fishery Port (JFP).
As we deal with these two big clusters, and test extensively, we should continue to expect many reported cases in the coming days, and must be prepared to make adjustments or even take decisive actions to suppress the cases.
Our scientists are conducting the phylogenetic studies. Both clusters are linked. Genetically, they differ from the Delta variant that infected Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Changi Airport, but are closer to what we have detected in imported cases from Indonesia.
Studies are ongoing. When MOH has more conclusive results, we will explain our findings to the public. One thing is clear – when countries in the region have big outbreaks, we are always at risk.
The KTV cluster is settling down. Over 5,000 staff, hostesses, patrons have been tested, and the yield is trending down day by day. In other words, we are exhausting the uncovering of cases from our various rings of surveillance.
But the JFP cluster is rising worryingly, because it is seeding cases in various markets, and the communities around them. Again, we have drawn up four rings of defences.
1st ring – the 700 workers at JFP. All quarantined, and we have uncovered several cases from them.
2nd ring – over 861 fishmongers, delivery drivers etc who had visited JFP. They have been issued Health Risk Warnings, which require them to undergo PCR tests and isolate themselves until they receive results. We have more or less completed testing and detected 26 cases amongst them. It is a high number.
3rd ring – other stallholders of all other markets. As a precaution, we have sent notifications to these stallholders to get themselves tested. They are scheduled to go to regional screening centres to be tested.
4th ring – residents around the market. We advise the residents living around markets with positive cases to minimise your movements and social interactions. Do your marketing during off-peak hours. The National Environment Agency is setting up wastewater testing in as many locations as practicable, and MOH will be mounting special operations in these estates.
As we do our best to detect cases and suppress the spread of the virus, it is very important that those who are unvaccinated, especially the elderly, stay home as much as possible.
Even for the vaccinated, if you have an unvaccinated senior at home, try to minimise your movement and social interactions too, as you may inadvertently bring the virus home and harm the senior.
Vaccination is gathering pace. For the past few weeks, we have vaccinated up to 80k a day. Demand has flipped towards second doses, which now account for about 70% of all doses.
This means many more people are getting fully vaccinated. By end of today or tomorrow, we should reach 50% of our population having two doses.
If you are eligible, please get yourself vaccinated.