Singapore

Residents and visitors at 8 Hougang blocks to undergo swab tests

Move comes after new cases of infection are reported in area

Residents, visitors and staff at eight Housing Board blocks in Hougang will undergo Covid-19 swab tests after new cases of infection were reported in their vicinity.

The tests will be mandatory for residents and visitors of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8, as well as shop staff at neighbouring blocks, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

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

This comes after a new cluster of cases was linked to Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8. A 58-year-old Singaporean woman, who is a housewife and resides there, was among the 35 new cases in the community reported yesterday.

A total of 13 cases have been linked to the cluster.

The latest development comes less than two weeks after residents in Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 underwent testing for the coronavirus on May 21 and 22, after several people living in the 12-storey block were found to have tested positive.

Several amenities, such as supermarket outlets, fast-food restaurants, food stalls and retail shops, are located at the neighbouring blocks, four of which - 681 to 684 - are part of the Hougang Village neighbourhood centre.

Swab tests will be conducted at Block 507 Hougang Avenue 8 today and tomorrow between 9am and 4pm.

TEST DAYS

Individuals who miss their test should proceed to the tented pavilion at 685A Hougang St 61 on Sunday or Monday between 9 am and 4pm.

Mr Darryl David, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, which six of the neighbouring blocks are under, said he would be visiting shops in Hougang Village today to encourage tenants and shop staff to go for Covid-19 tests.

Other grassroots leaders and the chairman of the Hougang Village Merchants' Association will also be doing so, he added.

Aljunied GRC MP Gerald Giam, who is vice-chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, told The Straits Times: "I understand that it might be a bit of a hassle, especially for Block 506 residents who just got swabbed less than two weeks ago.

"However, I'm sure residents understand this is to ensure their health and that of the community," he said, adding that residents can contact him if they have any concerns.

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

Residents and visitors to the blocks who wish to book an appointment for their swab test and find out about test locations can call 1800-333-9999 or visit go.gov.sg/hg-testing

coronavirus