Jem and Westgate to close for 2 weeks from May 23; 10 recent Covid-19 cases linked to both malls

Only staff of Jem were allowed into the mall on May 23, to tidy up for the planned closure. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Jem and Westgate will be closed from Sunday (May 23) for two weeks for deep cleaning after investigations found that there is likely ongoing transmission among visitors to the two malls in Jurong East.

The closure aims to break any potential chain of transmission and enable deep cleaning of the premises, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday night. The malls will reopen on June 6.

Members of the public will still be able to access Ng Teng Fong General Hospital through Westgate and the office towers at these premises will remain open.

MOH noted that there are 10 recent cases linked to the malls, of whom four were detected during testing operations, which are still in progress.

Three of the seven unlinked cases announced on Saturday had been to Westgate recently.

People who visited Jem or Westgate in Jurong East between May 10 and 14 have been strongly encouraged to be tested for Covid-19 as coronavirus-positive patients were at the malls during that period.

All visitors to Jem and Westgate since May 10 are advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit. They are encouraged to visit a Regional Screening Centre or “Swab and Send Home” (Sash) Public Health Preparedness Clinic for a free Covid-19 test if they feel unwell.

In total, there were 22 new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection, with 15 linked to previous cases. Among them, 12 have already been placed on quarantine. There are no new cases in the dormitories.

Two 19-year-old Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students were among the new community cases, adding to the four SP cases that were earlier announced.

The first new case is a second-year student from the School of Computing who works part-time as a food processor at Sats Food Services. He tested positive for Covid-19 during quarantine as he has been identified as a household contact of a previous case, a 49-year-old woman who works as a factory operator at SMS InfoComm.

The second new case is a third-year student from the School of Chemical and Life Sciences. She was last on campus on May 15, when she met a fellow SP student who was announced as a Covid-19 case last week.

SP said the two had met for a co-curricular activity (CCA) and had dinner together outside of school. All other students who had met for the CCA on May 15 have been quarantined by MOH.

The linked cases include a 24-year-old Malaysian man who works as a delivery rider for IVIC Logistic and McDonald’s at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club. There are currently a total of three McDonald’s delivery riders who have tested positive.

There were also seven imported cases, who had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 103 cases in the week before to 199 cases in the past week, MOH said.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 14 cases in the week before to 61 cases in the past week.

MOH added that 35 more cases of Covid-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

There are currently 255 confirmed cases who are still in hospital.

Of these, most are stable or improving, and five are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 235 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

There have been 32 deaths here due to complications from the coronavirus.

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