SINGAPORE: All residents at four HDB blocks near Geylang Serai Market will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing, after viral fragments were found in wastewater samples collected from the blocks, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (Jul 22).
The health ministry is investigating "likely COVID-19 transmission" at 842, 844, 846 and 848 Sims Avenue, it said. The mandatory testing is being done "in order to quickly uncover community infection cases", it added.
Aside from the residents, owners and staff of commercial units at the four blocks will also have to be tested, said MOH in a press release.
Testing is optional for those who have tested negative from Jul 17 onwards.
"In the event that a positive COVID-19 case is detected, MOH will isolate the case, identify all close contacts, test and quarantine them to protect the community from further transmission," said MOH.
The testing will take place at the pavilion at 3 Geylang Serai on Thursday and Friday, from 9am to 4pm.
Visitors and those who had interaction with residents of the four blocks between Jul 6 and Jul 20 are encouraged to come forward for voluntary testing. This can be done by appointment only at the Geylang Serai pavilion on Thursday or Friday, or at designated regional screening centres between Thursday and Saturday.
According to the ministry, the mandatory testing was announced after COVID-19 viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples collected from the four blocks.
"Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine linkages and the source of transmission," MOH said.
MOH has said previously it was investigating COVID-19 cases involving markets and food centres that were likely "seeded" by fishmongers who had visited Jurong Fishery Port to collect their stock.
COVID-19 cases have been detected in at least 35 markets and food centres, including Geylang Serai Market.