Four bus drivers linked to coronavirus cluster at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub
Four coronavirus patients linked to a cluster at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub are all bus drivers, said transport operator SMRT yesterday.
The cluster was first announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) last Friday night.
According to SMRT, three of the drivers contracted Covid-19 in their households. The last driver, a 28-year-old Malaysian work permit holder, was confirmed positive last Thursday.
MOH said last Friday that his infection was detected as part of the ministry's proactive case finding of individuals working at a newly emergent workplace cluster, adding that his results indicated that he was likely to have a past infection and was no longer infectious.
However, the worker showed symptoms on July 1 and subsequently went to work at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot and Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub.
When asked, SMRT was unable to say how long the driver continued working for after he showed symptoms.
All four drivers tested positive between July 7 and July 24, said SMRT. They drove bus services 976, 184 and 176.
SMRT's chief communications officer Margaret Teo said the company is closely monitoring the drivers' conditions and offering help to their families.
She added that SMRT's employees who were in close contact with the four have been placed on leave of absence.
A Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesman said SMRT is assisting MOH with contact tracing, as well as disinfecting buses and common facilities.
LTA reiterated that all commuters are required to wear masks when taking public transport, and that they should also refrain from talking on public transport, practise good personal hygiene and avoid taking public transport if unwell. - THE STRAITS TIMES