Coronavirus: Singapore

Marsiling Lane hawker centre, market closed as cases emerge

It is third food centre and market to close in four days; cases found among stallholders and workers

Several cases of Covid-19 have emerged at the hawker centre and wet market at blocks 20 and 21 in Marsiling Lane.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, said in a Facebook post yesterday that the venue would be closed from yesterday until Friday for deep cleaning, and will reopen on Saturday.

The decision to close was made voluntarily after the hawkers' association consulted the town council, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Mr Zaqy told The Straits Times that there are 52 cooked-food stalls, 71 meat stalls, 34 vegetable stalls and seven piece and sundry stalls at the hawker centre and wet market.

He said that his group representation constituency team has worked with the town council to offer the stallholders rebates on service and conservancy charges for more than seven days to support them during the closure.

He added that the GRC team was working closely with the merchants' association to monitor the situation and see if any of the stallholders needed further assistance.

The NEA told ST it was aware that Covid-19 cases had been detected among stallholders and workers at the hawker centre and wet market. It said that deep cleaning and disinfection there started after 3pm yesterday.

When ST visited yesterday afternoon, the hawker centre and wet market were empty and had been cordoned off. All the stalls were shuttered.

Cleaning contractors in personal protective equipment were seen getting ready to disinfect the area. They were also putting up posters about the closure dates on a notice board.

This is the third food centre and market to close in four days.

Last Saturday, Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market and Food Centre closed after Covid-19 cases were linked to it. It reopened on Monday.

Ayer Rajah Food Centre in West Coast Drive closed on Sunday after several stallholders and cleaners tested positive for Covid-19 during regular testing. It is set to reopen today.

Some residents and workers in Marsiling were not surprised about the new cluster.

A resident, Mr Koh Ah Boy, 68, who works in printing services, said: "There is nothing much to be scared of - new clusters nowadays are inevitable and all over Singapore."

But a cleaner who wanted to be known only as Madam Gan, 80, was worried as she works in the area. She said: "There are cases everywhere now. However, I have no choice but to go out as I still have to work."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2021, with the headline 'Marsiling Lane hawker centre, market closed as cases emerge'. Subscribe