International COVID 19 Concern over growing Covid cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 76 staff...

Concern over growing Covid cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 76 staff placed on leave of absence

'A couple of hundred' staff could be placed on LOA, says hospital CEO

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Singapore – Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) CEO Eugene Soh has expressed concern over the growing Covid-19 cluster at the hospital.

Seventy-six members of the hospital staff have been placed on leave of absence in an attempt to control the cluster, said Dr Soh at a press conference organised by the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force on Friday (April 30).

Possibly “a couple of hundred” staff members could be placed on LOA as contact tracing continues, he said, reported CNA.

In all, four hospital wards have been locked down.

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Five of the 13 cases in the TTSH cluster are members of the hospital staff, including two doctors, one nurse, one healthcare assistant and one cleaner, who worked in the ward where the cluster first emerged, said Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, the Health Ministry’s director of medical services.

Four of the five staff members had been vaccinated, he added.

The remaining eight are patients — seven from Ward 9D, and one from Ward 9C.

One of the eight patients had received both doses of the vaccine, while another had only received one, said Assoc Prof Mak.

He emphasised that vaccination does not provide 100 per cent protection. But it increases your resistance to getting symptomatic infections and reduces the risk of getting and spreading infection.

The TTSH cluster was discovered after a nurse at the hospital was found to be one of the three new confirmed and verified cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection in the community on Wednesday (Apr 28).

The 46-year-old Philippines national had her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 26 and the second dose on Feb 18.

A doctor and three patients in the general ward — Ward 9D — where she worked were also found Covid-positive in preliminary tests.

The hospital locked down the ward and tested all the patients and staff there after the nurse was found Covid-positive. /TISG

Read related: Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse who was vaccinated tests positive for Covid-19 along with doctor and 3 patients

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