Hougang HDB block residents to be tested for Covid-19 after cases found there

A mandatory testing operation for Covid-19 will be conducted at the void deck of Block 506, after several residents were found to be infected. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - All residents of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 will have to be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution, after a few cases were found to be living there.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (May 20) said the mandatory testing operation will be conducted at the void deck of the block on Friday and Saturday, and leaflets have been distributed to the residents. They will also receive an SMS notification.

Residents of the block should monitor their health closely and see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell, the ministry said.

This is the second Housing Board block whose residents have to undergo mass testing, after MOH offered testing last July to 58 households in a block in Tampines linked to known Covid-19 clusters. A total of 123 people who lived at or visited Block 111 Tampines Street 11 tested negative.

32nd Covid-19 death

MOH also said a 70-year-old Singaporean man died from complications related to Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of such deaths here to 32.

The man had been warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Ward 9D on April 22, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 on April 30.

He had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and had a history of lung cancer and atrial fibrillation.

Changi Airport cluster grows to 100 cases

Separately, a Singapore Polytechnic (SP) student, a prison inmate, and a clinic assistant at Etern Medical Clinic in Punggol were among the 27 new community cases reported on Thursday.

Of these 27 cases, 15 had already been quarantined and six are unlinked.

One of the quarantined cases is a 12-year-old male pupil at Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) who is a family member of a 46-year-old female Singaporean investment banker at DBS Bank.

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He was placed on quarantine on May 17, and was tested the next day after he developed a fever, cough and runny nose. His test result came back positive on May 19.

The Changi Airport cluster has grown to 100 people, including two female students - a 14-year-old and an eight-year-old who are members of the same family - from Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah, an Islamic school in Geylang.

Both of them have been linked to a cleaner who tested positive on Sunday.

Another case in the cluster is a 63-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by Certis as an aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He is asymptomatic, and his infection was detected when he was tested on Sunday as part of rostered routine testing. On the same day, as he had been identified as a family member of another Covid-19 patient, he was placed on quarantine.

His pooled test result came back positive for the virus on Monday, and his individual test result came back positive on Wednesday. His serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection, said MOH. He had received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 21, and the second dose on Feb 14.

One of the six unlinked cases is a 49-year-old housewife who did not seek treatment immediately after developing a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and loss of taste and smell last Friday. She went to a general practitioner on Tuesday and tested positive for the virus.

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The new community cases also include a Singapore Polytechnic (SP) student, a prison inmate and a clinic assistant at Etern Medical Clinic in Punggol.

The 19-year-old SP student, who is currently unlinked, was last in school last Saturday and fell sick on the same day.

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old clinic assistant at Etern Medical Clinic has been linked to a 32-year-old IT engineer who works at AbbVie Operations Singapore.

In the same cluster as the clinic assistant is a 3-year-old girl who attends the preschool Skool4kidz Centre in Punggol. She was asymptomatic and was detected when she was tested on May 18 during her quarantine period. Her test result came back positive on May 19.

There were also 14 imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said the ministry.

The 41 new cases took Singapore's total to 61,730.

There are currently 240 confirmed cases in hospital, said MOH. Of these, most are stable or improving, and four are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 229 patients are in community facilities.

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