SINGAPORE: Residents at two more blocks at Hougang Avenue 8 will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests, after traces of the virus were found in wastewater samples taken from those blocks.
There have not been any confirmed COVID-19 cases at those blocks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (May 31).
The polymerase chain reaction testing for residents at blocks 501 and 507 Hougang Avenue 8 will take place from Jun 1 to 3. Testing will be conducted at the void deck of Block 507 Hougang Avenue 8 between 9am and 4pm on those dates.
“While there are currently no confirmed cases residing at 501 and 507 Hougang Avenue 8, COVID-19 viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples collected from these blocks,” the ministry said.
“As a precautionary measure, we will conduct mandatory COVID-19 tests for all residents of these blocks.”
The health ministry also advised residents to monitor their health and consult a doctor immediately if they feel unwell.
“Leaflets will be distributed and SMS notifications will be sent to the residents to provide them with more information,” said MOH.
READ: 11 COVID-19 cases identified at Hougang HDB block, including 2 new infections picked up from mandatory testing
The move is part of the ministry’s surveillance measures to detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in the community.
“This mandatory testing is carried out when epidemiology investigations have assessed that there is likely ongoing transmission,” it said.
“In the event that a positive case is detected, MOH will isolate the case, identify all close contacts, test and quarantine them to protect the community from further transmission.”
READ: All residents at Pasir Ris HDB block to undergo COVID-19 testing after 4 cases identified there
Earlier this month, the ministry tested all residents of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 after some residents tested positive for COVID-19.
Eleven COVID-19 cases from at least four different households living at the block, including two who were detected from the mandatory testing exercise.
Residents at Block 559 Pasir Ris St 51 were also tested last week after four COVID-19 cases were detected in two different households living in the block.
On Monday, MOH also announced mandatory testing for all residents of Block 745 Yishun Street 72, after six COVID-19 cases were detected there.
The need for the mandatory tests at the Yishun block was first announced by MP Faishal Ibrahim (PAP-Nee Soon) in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon.
Singapore reported 23 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 16 infections in the community.