Nine cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Block 111 Tampines Street 11
58 households are under active phone surveillance; tests offered to 160 people, with 60 of them testing negative
Nine cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the same section of Block 111 Tampines Street 11 last month.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force battling Covid-19, said at a virtual press conference yesterday that the first case, a 66-year-old Singaporean man had worked at The Leo Dormitory, and tested positive on June 23.
Six of his household members subsequently tested positive.
On June 27, a 15 year-old Singaporean girl living in the same block tested positive. Another member of her household also tested positive.
The two households are not linked but investigations are continuing, added Mr Gan.
"We have not established a link yet, but because they stay in the same section of the block, we wanted to be extra careful by offering them additional testing to see if there are underlying cases or not," he said.
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health (MOH) placed the 58 households in the same section of the block under active phone surveillance.
MOH offered tests to 160 people, who are visitors and residents of the 58 households.Of these, 60 have been tested and all turned out negative.
Other households in the block do not need to be tested as they do not share the same set of lifts and stairwell, the ministry said.
Dr Chia Shi-Lu, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, told The New Paper yesterday a small number of community cases is to be expected over a prolonged period.
He said: "Based on this one incident in Tampines, it doesn't mean the overall situation is getting worse. We still have an understanding of where the cases come from.
"As we try to make sense of the numbers, we have to observe it over a period of time and see the pattern of the cases - if they are scattered and unlinked, then it will be worrying."
From an average of about four new community cases per day in the week before phase two, the number has gone up to about eight new cases per day in the past week, and that is not unexpected as the country opens up, Mr Gan said.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force, said that while enhanced testing is being carried out, Singaporeans must continue to remain vigilant and uphold social distancing.
"We're casting a wider net around every single infected case," he said, adding that the authorities would move in a lot more "aggressively" and a lot faster to identify every possible close contact.
Mr Wong added: "We should not push the system to its limits or take unnecessary risks.
"So while we have indeed enhanced our system and tracing, it requires everyone to do our part."