When COVID-19 first became a thing, doctors would check if you had been to China in the last fourteen days. Then it became South Korea. Until they started asking if you’ve been overseas anywhere.
Now, they just ask if you’ve been to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) since 18 April.
No Protocol Breach Has Been Found in TTSH But Investigations Are Still Ongoing As to Why It Became a Superspreader Event
The ironic and deeply troubling COVID-19 cluster at TTSH—which has, as of now, grown to 40 confirmed infections—naturally prompted investigations.
And it appears that no breaches in protocol have been made, according to TODAYonline, reporting on the preliminary results of an ongoing government investigation.
The multi-ministry task force is now considering several possibilities for the hospital to become Singapore’s largest COVID-19 cluster. These include ventilation issues around Ward 9D, where most of the cases have visited, or a lack of discipline in infection control, such as visitors not wearing masks while in the ward.
Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, who reported on these findings, emphasised that no conclusive results can be produced until the investigation is complete.
However, he clarified that, so far, no “specific breach in processes and protocols that TTSH had put in place” have been identified.
No one is getting fired, then. Yay?
So What’s Going on at TTSH?
As the number of infections associated with the hospital cluster grows by the day, the usually bustling hospital has grown unusually quiet, The Straits Times reports.
Starting yesterday (4 May), the hospital has decided to take in no new patients, in addition to imposing lockdowns on affected wards and prohibiting hospital visits except when a patient is critically ill.
Instead, those who require medical care from the hospital have been advised to visit a general practitioner or an alternative care facility close by.
Both public and private hospitals will be accommodating emergency patients who can no longer visit TTSH, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) has requested that hospitals postpone non-urgent surgical operations and appointments.
A big oof, though, if you are broke but are taken to a private hospital instead.
These measures came after the death of an 88-year-old patient at Ward 9D and several breakthrough infections in healthcare professionals already fully vaccinated.
The ferocity of the infections may be partly attributable to the more infectious B.1.617.2 variant of the coronavirus, which was detected in the nurse who first tested positive on 27 April, according to The Straits Times.
This is the same variant currently causing a catastrophic epidemic in India and other South Asian countries.
Mutations seen elsewhere in the world have also been detected in Singapore, including eight cases of the B.1.351 variant from South Africa, and seven cases of the B1.1.7 variant that was first found in the UK.
We can’t travel the world, but mutations from all around the world can travel to Singapore. Worst trade deal in history, maybe ever.
Feature Image: Miguel Vidal / Shutterstock.com