Border closure urged by netizens following death of elderly S’porean woman due to COVID-related complications and rise in community cases

An 88-year-old Singaporean woman who was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) died from COVID-19 complications on Saturday (1 May), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The MOH said that the woman—referred to as Case 62573—had been warded from 14 Apr and was confirmed to have the virus on 28 Apr.

She also had a history of cancer, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, stroke, and hyperlipidaemia.

In a Facebook post on the same day, TTSH said on its Facebook page that special arrangements were made for her family to see her via video conference and visit her from outside her isolated room.

Over the weekend, MOH has reported several new community cases including six on Saturday alone. These were a 19-year-old permanent resident (PR) studying at the Singapore Management University (SMU), arriving from India on 29 Dec and serving her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility.

She has been linked to an earlier case, a close contact during their flight to Singapore in Dec.

The next is a 22-year-old Malaysian woman who works at Spa 9 on Holland Drive and a 50-year-old PR who works at DIC Asia Pacific.

Three more were linked to the TTSH cluster. This includes an 86-year-old Singaporean woman whose spouse was admitted to TTSH on 20 to 22 Apr, a 70-year-old Singaporean man who was warded on 22 Apr and a 74-year-old Singaporean woman who was warded between 23 to 27 Apr.

In total, there are 16 cases linked to the TTSH cluster, which is now the largest of nine active clusters in the country.

Following reports of these community cases, netizens on The Straits Times’ Facebook page urged the Government to implement stricter border controls to curb the number of imported cases of the virus and to protect seniors in the country.

Others were more upset and angry that Singapore’s borders remained open to international travellers despite worsening conditions in other countries.

One person pointed out it was “unscrupulous” to use the elderly woman’s underlying medical conditions as a way to explain her death from COVID-19.

One person specifically said that deaths from recent clusters are the responsibility of the government as they could’ve been avoided with stricter measures.

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