Singapore

Fuss-free Covid-19 testing at Bukit Merah View site

Temporary testing site set up for those who visited FairPrice outlet in the area

Covid-19 testing for staff and members of the public who had been to the FairPrice supermarket at 166 Bukit Merah Central appeared to be running smoothly yesterday morning.

A temporary testing site was set up at Block 125A Bukit Merah View after a number of Covid-19 cases were found among people who had visited the supermarket, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday.

The testing for those who work there or had visited the outlet between June 3 and Monday is to break any possible chains of transmission, MOH said.

When The Straits Times visited at about 10am yesterday, there were no queues and people were leaving the testing site after their swabs in an orderly manner.

A group of workers who said they were from FairPrice told ST that they were told to go for the swab test yesterday despite having already been swabbed last Saturday. They declined to be named.

They said they were not particularly worried about Covid-19 cases having visited the supermarket but went for the tests as part of the company's directives.

Others were more anxious and wanted to get tested for peace of mind.

Madam Lee Cheng Toh, 61, told ST that she felt compelled to get tested as she visits the FairPrice outlet every Monday to buy groceries.

She had also visited the Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre that was linked to a Covid-19 outbreak earlier this month.

"Though I had not received any SMS telling me to get tested, I was still a little worried," said Madam Lee, a designer.

The market was closed for cleaning and disinfection on June 13 and is expected to reopen on Saturday.

As at Monday, 78 cases had been linked to the Bukit Merah market cluster.

Most people who got tested said they wanted to do so as a precautionary measure, after having visited the supermarket during the window period.

The testing site will be open till tomorrow. Those who want to be tested are required to make an appointment.

Mandatory testing also began at four testing sites in Redhill Lane and Redhill Close on Monday, after viral fragments were detected in wastewater samples collected from some Housing Board blocks there.

The affected blocks are 81, 82 and 83 Redhill Lane and 87, 88, 89 and 90 Redhill Close.

Testing is optional for those who have tested negative for Covid-19 since last Friday, MOH said.

There were no queues when ST visited the testing site at 89 Redhill Close at 11am yesterday.

Retiree Catherine Lim, 87, had received a call to go for testing and took her test at 10am. The process was smooth, though the swab itself was quite uncomfortable, she said.

Madam Lim lives in Block 90, opposite the testing centre.

Most of the residents ST spoke to said they were tested on Monday, after testing began at about 1pm.

coronavirus