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All residents of Punggol HDB block to be tested for COVID-19 after 8 cases detected

All residents of Punggol HDB block to be tested for COVID-19 after 8 cases detected

Block 325A Sumang Walk in Punggol. (Photo: Google Maps Street View)

SINGAPORE: All residents of Block 325A Sumang Walk in Punggol will undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing after eight infections were detected there, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Jun 7). 

The cases were from three different households, said MOH, with the latest being a 13-year-old student whose infection was confirmed on Jun 5. 

The student from Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School is currently an unlinked case. She was tested for COVID-19 after developing anosmia or the loss of smell. 

Four cases at the Sumang Walk block tested positive earlier in May and were linked to the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster. All are family members, identified as Cases 63347, 63459, 63473 and 63474.

Case 63347 is a 45-year-old Indonesian woman employed by Clean Hub Facility as a cleaner at EuHabitat. Her infection was confirmed on May 16.

Case 63459 is a 63-year-old Singaporean man employed by Certis Cisco as an aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

The other two cases in this household are students, aged eight and 14, at Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah.

READ: Singapore must test 'faster, more liberally and extensively'; DIY tests soon available over the counter, says PM Lee

The remaining three cases in the block were earlier linked to the cluster involving Case 63516 - a 28-year-old Singaporean homemaker whose infection was confirmed on May 20.

Her family members are Case 63513, a 29-year-old Singaporean man who works at Slide and Hide System, and a one-year-old boy listed as Case 63572.

READ: Exercising with your mask on? Fitness experts caution against pushing too hard amid new COVID-19 rules

VISITORS ENCOURAGED TO COME FORWARD

The mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is carried out to prevent any possible spread in the community, said MOH.

"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," it added.

"Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine linkages and the source of transmission."

People who had visited the block from May 10 to Jun 5 are also encouraged to come forward for testing, said the ministry.

Testing will be conducted at the pavilion at Block 324 Sumang Walk on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 4pm.

Leaflets have been distributed and SMS notifications have been sent to residents, said MOH. Residents are also advised to monitor their health closely and consult a doctor immediately if they feel unwell, it added.

"Those who are still awaiting their PCR test results are advised to minimise social interactions as much as possible. They should continue to monitor their health and seek immediate medical attention if they feel unwell."

In a Facebook post, Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Janil Puthucheary said residents who live in the surrounding blocks do not need to get tested unless they have visited Block 325A between May 10 and Jun 5. 

"Our town council together with NEA have conducted a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the common areas at Blk 325A and the surrounding blocks. Very grateful for their prompt efforts," he added.

Those with queries can call 1800 333 9999 for more information.

READ: Almost 90% of graduating students have signed up for COVID-19 vaccines: Chan Chun Sing

UPDATE ON HOUGANG AVENUE 8 TESTING

The ministry also provided an update on the testing exercise conducted for several blocks in Hougang Avenue 8 last week.

A total of 1,413 residents of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 and people working in shops at seven neighbouring blocks have been tested.

"Mandatory testing for this group has concluded with no COVID-19 cases reported," said MOH.

As for visitors to Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8, as well as residents and visitors of the seven neighbouring blocks, 3,778 of them have voluntarily stepped forward for testing.

Of these, 3,531 people were found to be negative for COVID-19 infection and 247 test results are pending.

The testing exercise last week was the second round of mandatory COVID-19 testing for residents and visitors of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8.

It was conducted after a new cluster was linked to Block 506, and viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples from some of the blocks in the area.

The seven neighbouring blocks are 511 Hougang Avenue 10; 681, 683 and 684 Hougang Avenue 8; 682 Hougang Avenue 4; and 685 and 698 Hougang Street 61.

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Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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