Compulsory Covid-19 tests underway for 85 exhibitors at Bukit Merah View, Health News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Mandatory Covid-19 testing began at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 14 for around 85 traders in Block 116 Bukit Merah View.
A temporary site has been set up at block 125A for this.
The tests follow the Ministry of Health (MOH) announcement on Sunday that a new group had formed at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Center.
The 182 stands were closed there from Sunday for cleaning until Tuesday. Staff and tenants who had been working in the market since May 25 have been quarantined and will be swabbed during quarantine.
The health ministry said all staff and tenants who worked in the nearby 116 Bukit Merah View since May 25 are also being tested for Covid-19 “to disrupt any wider and undetected community transmission.”
Most of those who were tested at the temporary site said they were not worried about contracting Covid-19.
Ms Theresa Neo, 52, who works in a nail salon in Block 116, said she had only been working there for a few months before the cluster was detected on Sunday.
“I am fully vaccinated so I am not worried,” she said, adding that the lounge would remain open because it had not been ordered to close.
A food merchant in Block 116 who wanted to be known only as Mr Than, 50, said he received a text message advising him that he should get tested.
Mr Than, who sells Teochew porridge, walked out of the temporary testing site with tears in his eyes, but said it was a painless process.
“It’s completely normal now to get tested. No reason to worry. I’m not worried about having Covid-19, ”he said.
He said he would go back to work, adding: “We have to make some money, what to do?”
Free testing is also offered to residents and members of the public who have visited 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Center or 116 Bukit Merah View stores between May 25 and June 12.
However, the tests are not performed at block 125A. They can visit Bukit Merah Polyclinic and several other Swab and Send Home clinics nearby.
Residents can go to this website and enter their postal code to find the nearest clinic.
Some residents who went to block 125A were upset when they were turned away.
Tanjong Pagar RCMP MP Joan Pereira, who spoke to reporters near the swab testing site, said, “Many residents contacted me, telling me that they hoped the swab test could be successful. be carried out in an area close to them, without their having to travel very far. “
She asked the Department of Health if the place could also be open to residents.
“It’s really very convenient for them, and if the Department of Health gives the green light, I think most of our residents will really appreciate it.”
The Straits Times understands that arrangements are being made for this from Tuesday (June 15).
Mr. Wang Da Feng, 70, went to the temporary testing site on Monday morning with his 71-year-old wife, but the two were turned away.
The retiree, who lives in Telok Blangah Crescent, said the couple feared they could potentially have Covid-19 as they visited the market and the hawking center every day.
“We both felt a bit bad, and my wife started coughing last night, so we wanted to get tested,” he said.
“It’s a lost trip today, but it’s fine, we’ll be back just tomorrow,” he added.
A resident of Bukit Merah who only wanted to be known as Madame Lim, 60, said she visited the market on Sunday for about 20 minutes.
“I’m not worried about contracting Covid-19. I feel fine, I have no symptoms, but the tests would give me some confidence as my job requires me to visit clients,” Madame said. Lim, who works in accounting.
Mr. Chia Foo Keng, 65, who lives at Block 117 Bukit Merah View, said he was concerned about contracting Covid-19 while visiting the Block 115 market every day.
“I am fully vaccinated, but I still think it is better to get tested because who knows if I have Covid-19 or not?” said Mr. Chia, who is a fishmonger at a market in Ang Mo Kio.
Ms Pereira told ST that some residents are concerned as there is a confirmed group in the Blk 115 market and hawker center, which they frequent for their food and daily groceries.
“This is all the more true as there are a lot of elderly people living in the area, and their children have also written to me because they are worried,” she said.
“I asked them to continue to closely monitor their health, to see a doctor immediately if they felt unwell, and to minimize physical interactions.”
Cluster 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Food Center now has six cases, after four cases were linked to it on Sunday.
Five of the cases detected so far are either food stall vendors or various market and food center workers. Their ages range from the 60s to the 80s.
Affected traders can use the Department of Health’s Quarantine Order Allowance program, which provides assistance in the form of an ex gratia payment of $ 100 per day to self-employed workers.
The program aims to provide financial assistance to affected self-employed workers, employers whose employees have been quarantined or ordered by the Ministry of Health to cease their activities until their premises are decontaminated.