Singapore finds suspected Omicron COVID-19 cluster in gym

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People cross a road, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Singapore November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

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SINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Singapore's ministry of health said late on Monday preliminary tests had detected two suspected cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 linked to a gym, with results for a third coronavirus case related to the gym pending.

The health ministry said it was conducting contact tracing related to all three cases, which have mild symptoms, had no recent travel history and had been double-vaccinated. The statement did not specify whether any of the cases had received a booster.

Singapore has reported 71 confirmed Omicron cases, with 65 imported infections and six local cases. "Given its high transmissibility and spread to many parts of the world, we should expect to find more Omicron cases at our borders and also within our community," the health ministry said.

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With 87% of its 5.5 million population having been fully vaccinated, Singapore has turned to focus to administering boosters. About 34% of the city-state's residents have had a booster.

Cases in Singapore have fallen over the last few weeks from a record daily count of 5,324 in late October. It reported 195 new cases on Monday.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. read more

Research from southern Africa and Britain shows the variant is spreading very quickly, prompting forecasts that it will soon outpace its predecessor, Delta, in several countries. Omicron has become dominant in the United States with lightning speed. read more

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Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Chris Reese and Kenneth Maxwell

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