Balestier hotel, gym in Sengkang among spots most visited by Covid-19 cases

Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park said it was informed by MOH on July 24 that a city guest who visited the hotel in Balestier was identified as a positive case. The hotel is one of the spots most frequented by Covid-19 cases in the commun
Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park said it was informed by MOH on July 24 that a city guest who visited the hotel in Balestier was identified as a positive case. The hotel is one of the spots most frequented by Covid-19 cases in the community, with at least seven visits over 12 days. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A four-star hotel in Balestier has emerged as one of the spots most frequented by Covid-19 cases in the community, with at least seven visits over a period of 12 days.

Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park first appeared on the Ministry of Health's list of places visited by Covid-19 patients last Saturday. The visits by someone with the virus took place between July 12 and July 23, and lasted from about one to three hours.

The Straits Times visited the hotel on Thursday afternoon, but did not enter as only guests with room bookings were allowed in.

Some of those allowed in had their particulars checked against a database and checked in via SafeEntry.

Many of the guests were men in a maroon shirt uniform. When approached, they identified themselves as Malaysians working for SMRT. Other guests said they were factory workers from Malaysia. Both groups said they are at the hotel temporarily, due to the Malaysian movement control order that took effect on March 18.

When contacted, SMRT referred ST to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for more information.

The hotel's general manager Tony Cousens told ST it was informed by MOH on July 24 that a city guest who visited the hotel was identified as a positive case, and that the hotel gave the ministry the necessary information for contact tracing.

He said the hotel's hygiene and sanitisation measures have been inspected and that it has been certified as an SG Clean establishment.

"Immediately, upon learning of the confirmed case, we have activated precautionary deep cleaning in all areas, hallways and elevators visited by the guest," he added.

Over in Sengkang, the ActiveSG Gym at Fernvale Square was also recently identified as one of the places most frequented by Covid-19 patients while infectious. The gym at 51A Sengkang West Avenue was visited by one patient three times over four days - on July 14, 16 and 17.

A spokesman for Sport Singapore, which manages ActiveSG facilities, said it was notified by the authorities on July 20 that a Covid-19 patient had visited the gym thrice, based on SafeEntry records. The gym was closed for thorough disinfection and cleaning for the next two days and reopened on July 23.

  • Frequent visits

  • Examples of frequently visited places by community cases:

    RAMADA BY WYNDHAM SINGAPORE AT ZHONGSHAN PARK

    • July 12, 12.50pm to 6.20pm

    • July 14, 12.45pm to 4.45pm

    • July 18, 6.50pm to 8.50pm

    • July 19, 7.45pm to 9.05pm

    • July 20, 5.20pm to 8.05pm

    • July 21, 5.30pm to 8.30pm

    • July 23, 5.30pm to 8.30pm

    ACTIVESG GYM AT FERNVALE SQUARE (51A SENGKANG WEST AVENUE)

    • July 14, 9.05pm to 10.25pm

    • July 16, 5pm to 6.30pm

    • July 17, 5pm to 6.30pm

The spokesman added that safe management measures are in place at ActiveSG facilities, including a mandatory online booking system, capacity limits, wiping down equipment after use, an increased cleaning regime, temperature taking and the use of SafeEntry. Users also have to put on masks after exercising and when moving around.

• Additional reporting by Low Lin Fhoong

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2020, with the headline 'Balestier hotel, gym in Sengkang among spots most visited by cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe