Mandarin Orchard stops accepting guests after suspected link between 13 imported Covid-19 cases

Those currently serving SHNs at the hotel will be moved to another dedicated facility.
PHOTO: PHOTO: Mandarin Orchard

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) is investigating 13 cases of Covid-19 infection among individuals who had served stay-home notices (SHN) at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, said the ministry in a statement on Saturday (Dec 19).

As a precautionary measure, the hotel will stop accepting new guests with immediate effect.

Those currently serving SHNs at the hotel will be moved to another dedicated facility. It did not take in guests from Sunday (Dec 13) as its contract to serve as a dedicated facility will expire at the end of the month.

The hotel has also made arrangements to progressively check out existing guests.

Restaurant and event spaces in the hotel will also be closed.

The 13 cases, who had returned from abroad and were confirmed between Nov 2 and Nov 19, were observed to have high genetic similarity despite the cases having arrived from different countries, including Bahrain, Canada and Indonesia, said MOH.

The findings by the National Public Health Laboratory suggests that these cases were likely infected from a similar source.

Further investigations by the ministry uncovered that these cases had served SHNs at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between Oct 22 and Nov 11.

The ministry said that it cannot exclude that transmissions could have occurred at Mandarin Orchard Singapore based on preliminary findings.

Genome sequencing and analysis are continuing for cases beyond Nov 11.

It takes about four weeks to complete whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis on Covid-19 cases.

Those on SHN are housed in a dedicated tower and floors at the hotel, separate from all other guests, with no interaction among them.

However, as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all guests in the hotel, the hotel will check out all its occupants.

Deep cleaning and disinfection will be carried out by the hotel, in consultation with MOH and the National Environment Agency.

MOH said that it has started testing around 500 staff of the hotel for Covid-19 infection.

Guests who have stayed at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between Nov 11 and Dec 19 are advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their last date of stay, it added.