Bukit Timah condo ups security after man who broke COVID-19 rules to sleep at resident's home tests positive

Bukit Timah condo ups security after man who broke COVID-19 rules to sleep at resident's home tests positive

Signature Park gate
One of the entrances to Signature Park condominium in Bukit Timah. (Photo: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE: A Bukit Timah condominium has tightened security measures after a man who later tested positive for COVID-19 "bypassed security checks" to sleep over at a resident's home during the "circuit breaker" period.

The man was driven in by the resident and stayed for several days, the residential manager of Signature Park condominium told residents in a notice seen by CNA.

Following the incident, anyone who walks or drives into the condo will have to produce their identity card or proof of residence at the guard post, according to the Apr 27 notice by residential manager Alex Tan.

The condo has also temporarily disabled residents' access cards, car lanes and side gates.

"The patient (not a resident) bypassed our security checks," said Mr Tan in the notice.

"He was driven in by a resident (tenant) through the resident's lane and stayed several days in his apartment. This is in serious violation of the circuit breaker laws," he said, adding that the authorities are handling the matter, including contact tracing.

READ: No exercising, dog walking within condominiums' common areas as part of circuit breaker measures: BCA

Under the circuit breaker measures, people who do not live in the same household – including family members – are not permitted to meet except under certain circumstances.

Mr Tan said the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed one case of COVID-19 at Signature Park, and that the condo has completed cleaning and disinfecting of affected areas.

CNA has contacted MOH for comment.

Mr Chan Kok Hong, managing director of Savills Property Management which manages Signature Park, told CNA the incident occurred "a few days ago".

"That is something which the MOH has taken up," Mr Chan told CNA on Friday (May 1), when asked if the matter had been reported to the police.

"With all these advisories and social distancing, any citizen who violates that will be discovered once the person (with COVID-19) goes to hospital. So I'm sure the authorities will take it up from there. We don't need to report it (to the police).

"In this case, things have taken its natural course."

READ: Residents at 4 condominiums fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations, including using gym and pool

Mr Chan also said in response to questions that Signature Park implemented the additional security measures following instructions from the condominium management council to take the "strictest measures they can".

"It's obviously scared the wits out of them and they have the power to do that," he said, adding that it was also "for the sake of the residents".

Mr Chan said he has not received any feedback from residents on the measures, but believes that most will accept that they are necessary for their own safety.

Should residents forget their identity cards or proof of residence, he said, security guards may follow them to their units for verification.

"I'm sure some residents might challenge and say 'you got no powers to do this', but then I guess it's for the good of the majority; the council does something which is in its opinion appropriate," he said.

READ: COVID-19: Condos close facilities to reduce gatherings, but some residents question varying measures

According to its website, Savills Property Management oversees a portfolio of more than 40,000 units in 135 buildings across Singapore.

Before the incident at Signature Park, said Mr Chan, some had already asked if people entering condos should be checked.

As of now, said Mr Chan, there are no plans to implement the same measures at Savills' other properties, acknowledging that they are "rather draconian and place a lot of responsibility on shoulders of the guards".

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Source: CNA/hz(aj)

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