Free DIY Covid-19 test kit collection begins for selected Bukit Merah and Redhill residents

Residents collecting their antigen rapid test self-test kits at the pavilion at Block 128 Bukit Merah View on June 26, 2021. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Residents in certain areas of Bukit Merah and Redhill collected free antigen rapid test self-test kits from nine Residents' Committee (RC) centres in their neighbourhoods on Saturday (June 26).

The distribution, which began at 10am and ends at 6pm, will continue on Sunday.

Each resident will get one pack, which contains two self-test kits.

The free kits are meant to be an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify cases and prevent further transmission.

This is in addition to the testing operations that have been conducted in the area, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday night.

The Bukit Merah area has seen several clusters this month, with the largest one at the 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre, which has 87 cases as at Friday.

MOH is working with the People's Association (PA) to distribute the kits to all residents living at more than 100 eligible postal codes, according to this website.

Mr Anwar Ali, constituency management executive at Henderson Community Club, was among about 10 PA staff handling the distribution at the Bukit Merah View Zone A RC when The Straits Times visited at about 2pm.

Mr Anwar, 45, said the most frequently asked question by residents was how to use the test kits.

He said: "The PA staff were all trained on Zoom yesterday evening on how to use it, so they were able to explain to residents."

ST observed staff sitting down with some elderly residents individually to explain what the kit consisted of and what to do with the swab.

The free kits are meant to be an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify cases and prevent further transmission. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Mr Anwar said when they were notified of the weekend distribution on Friday night, they immediately began printing posters and at about 11pm, went to all the blocks of flats to put the posters up at lift lobbies.

Mr Goh Chin Hock, 58, a resident at Block 119 Bukit Merah View, collected his free self-test kit at around 2.30pm.

Speaking in Mandarin, Mr Goh said: "I might use it over the next few days, if I am unwell or want to feel less worried."

He added he had previously tested negative when MOH conducted mandatory testing for residents in his block.

Madam Tan Ah Chuam, 66, who lives at Block 117, said her colleagues had told her about the free kit collection. She collected a box for herself at the Bukit Merah View Zone B RC at around 3.30pm.

SPH Brightcove Video
As testing for Covid-19 becomes part of the new normal in Singapore, DIY test kits will be sold at pharmacies from June 16. ST journalist Timothy Goh tries out the Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-test, to see how easy it is to use.

Madam Tan, who works as a cleaner at the National Kidney Foundation dialysis centre at Block 128 Bukit Merah View, said she lives near the market and food centre so she is quite scared and avoids the area.

She said: "Previously I would go to the food centre to buy noodles or kueh, but now I don't dare go near the area."

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