S'pore now has 71 Omicron cases – and an Anytime Fitness cluster likely linked to variant

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Crowds of people wearing protective face masks walk in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping district on Sunday, 12 December 2021. Singapore authorities reported on 15 December 2021, 2 persons with the Omincron variant of the Covid-19 virus who dined in restaurants along Orchard Road. (Photo by Joseph Nair/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Crowds of people wearing protective face masks walk in Orchard Road on 12 December, 2021. (PHOTO: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore now has 71 Omicron cases – up from a previously announced 24 – as well as a new gym cluster preliminarily linked to the new contagious variant.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Tuesday (21 December) morning said six of the 71 cases are locally transmitted infections. The remaining 65 are imported.

Of the three COVID-19 cases linked to the cluster at Anytime Fitness's Bukit Timah Shopping Centre branch, two have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant. The result for the remaining case is pending, said the MOH.

All three cases are fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms. All of them also had no recent travel history and had recently visited the gym between 15 and 17 December, according to the MOH's epidemiological investigations.

Among them is a 24-year-old unemployed man who developed a sore throat and fever on 18 December.

He had sought medical attention at a general practitioner clinic where he underwent a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. His test result came back positive on the same day.

Another is an 18-year-old woman who studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and was last in school on 15 December. 

She had also developed a sore throat and fever on 18 December. Like the man, she had sought medical attention at a general practitioner clinic where she was tested for COVID-19. Her PCR test result came back positive the next day.

The third case is a 21-year old man who studies at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy but had not been to school recently. 

Like the others, he developed a sore throat on 18 December and sought medical attention at a general practitioner clinic where he was tested for COVID-19. His PCR test result came back positive the next day.

The MOH did not specify which of the cases tested preliminarily positive for Omicron.

The ministry added it is ringfencing the cases through contact tracing. Staff and visitors of the Anytime Fitness outlet at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre who are identified to be close contacts of the cases will be placed on quarantine. 

As a precautionary measure, other visitors to the gym between 15 and 17 December will be issued health risk warnings, it added. They will also be contacted by the MOH for a one-time targeted PCR test.

The ministry has also advised all visitors to the affected premise to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their date of visit.

On Monday, authorities confirmed 195 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 276,105 – as well as two deaths due to the disease. Forty-five of the new cases were infected with Omicron.

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