Out of the 18 Covid-19 deaths recorded in Singapore in August 2021, 13 of them can be traced back to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster.
This was revealed by Health minister Ong Ye Kung on Sep. 14 in a written parliamentary reply to a question posed by fellow Sembawang GRC MP, Poh Li San.
Poh had asked how many Covid-19 deaths in August 2021 were from the same clusters, and if all the Covid-19 deaths and those admitted to the Intensive Care Unit since May 2021 have been due to the Delta variant.
13 deaths linked to Jurong Fishery Port
In response, Ong said there were 18 Covid-19 deaths between Aug. 1 and 31, 2021.
Out of these, 13 were from sub-clusters phylogenetically linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster.
The remaining five cases remain unlinked.
In response to Poh's second question, Ong said there were 25 Covid-19 deaths and 35 other Covid-19 cases admitted to ICU between May 1 and Aug. 31, 2021.
Out of the 25 deaths, phylogenetic sequencing was successful for 20 cases, which showed they were of the Delta variant.
For the 35 ICU admissions, phylogenetic sequencing was successful for 24 cases, of which 23 were of the Delta variant.
According to information released daily by the Ministry of Health during August, the reported deaths involved elderly people who had not been vaccinated.
The Jurong Fishery Port was named a cluster on July 16, with seven cases.
The cluster ballooned to 1,155 cases within less than a month of its announcement.
The port was reopened on July 31.
The final cases linked to the cluster were reported on Aug. 14 before it was finally closed on Sep. 7 after no new cases were linked to it for several weeks.
Slide back to Phase 2 due to Jurong Fishery Port
The slide back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) was due to the Jurong Fishery Port Covid-19 cluster, Ong said previously on July 21.
The virus had spread quickly from fishmongers to market stall owners and cleaners, and then to market customers, who then spread to their families.
Many of these confirmed cases were elderly people who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, he added.
Vaccinated & unvaccinated equally likely to transmit Covid-19
In response to a separate parliamentary question by Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh, regarding average recovery times of those who get Covid-19, Ong said fully vaccinated patients recover faster and are infectious for a shorter period of time.
He added that based on a recent study of local cases by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), viral levels in vaccinated patients can decline to undetectable or non-infectious levels within 10 days after illness onset.
However, this takes around 15 days on average for unvaccinated patients.
Ong added that during the infectious period, vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients are equally likely to transmit to others.
Top photo via Thomas Allard/ Google Maps