Everything About The Big Cluster in Bukit Panjang ITH That’s Detected Through ‘Swab Operation’

In case you’ve missed it, Singapore detected a new cluster of community cases recently:

The Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub

Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub (BPITH) was declared as a Covid-19 cluster after it has 4 community cases.

On 26 July, SMRT announced that the four Covid-19 cases are bus drivers in their service.

Three of them had contracted Covid-19 from their homes, the transport operator said.

The remaining Covid-19 case is a Malaysian who went to work at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot and Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub and was linked to the other three cases.

The transport operator closed the canteen and staff lounge for a thorough cleaning and close contacts were placed on a leave of absence.

However, there’s been a bigly development in the BP ITH cluster.

Swab Operations

On 24 Jul 2020, it was reported that MOH is stepping up surveillance and active case-finding and containment efforts.

Sounds chim, but here’s what it means in layman’s terms.

They now have more than enough capability to test more people; so instead of just isolated close contacts of people who are infected, they’re testing everyone who works in the same place as the infected person.

Over the past few months, MOH has carried out “7 such swab operations” at newly emerging workplaces like Keppel Shipard and Northpoint City.

Over 1,300 people were tested and they managed to find 8 more cases: 6 who were in quarantine and 2 more who would now be eating at McDonald’s if they were not tested positive.

Other than workplaces, retail outlets that had positive Covid-19 cases visited often were also tested.

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4 More Community Cases Linked To Cluster

One such swab operation was carried out at the BPITH cluster where they found 4 new community cases.

It was reported that the four community cases, which were announced on 30 July, are asymptomatic cases.

Three of them are work permit holders and one is a Singaporean.

Many Places Near The Transport Hub Added To List Of Places Covid-19 Cases Visited

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has also updated their list of places where Covid-19 cases have visited during their infectious period.

On 30 July, MOH added 8 places to the list, 5 of which are close to Bukit Panjang ITH.


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The places include:

  • Hillion Mall: FairPrice, Watsons, McDonald’s, My Briyani House
  • Bukit Panjang ITH: Mr Teh Tarik
  • Causeway Point
  • Al-Sahira Restaurant
  • myCK outlets

You can view the details below:


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Image: MOH

If you’re more of a visual learner, you might want to check out CNA’s microsite which shows you an interactive map of MOH’s list of places:

Image: Screenshot from CNA’s map

All closed contacts have been identified, MOH says.

However, if you happen to be in the area within the same timeframe as the Covid-19 cases, monitor your health for the next 14 days and go see a doctor if you show even the slightest symptoms.

Although I’ll add that no matter whether you were in the same area or not, it’s always a good idea to just keep a close eye on your health.

You don’t have to avoid these places because once identified, the National Environment Agency (NEA) engage with the locations’ operators to do a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the area.


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In other words, they’ll probably be one of the safest (read: cleanest) places in Singapore after that’s done.

Don’t Panic

If you’re a frequent commuter who passes through BPITH, don’t panic.

Commuting, or sharing public transport with Covid-19 cases, carries with it a low risk of transmission because you only have transient contact with other people.

As long as everyone onboard keeps their masks on, and not talk to each other, the risk of being infected by the coronavirus is low.

Also, after the four bus drivers were detected, SMRT has stepped up cleaning of the buses and facilities within the transport hub, so you’re actually safer than 90% of the other commuters who don’t pass through BPITH.


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So no, you don’t have to panic but you can afford to be a bit more careful when you go out.

Don’t be like these Covidiots, yeah?

In the meantime, you can also do your part by downloading the TraceTogether app. If you’re still worried about privacy, then watch this video (and also subscribe to our YouTube channel, please?):


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