Public places visited by TTSH Covid-19 cases to be closed for 2 days for cleaning

Among the places visited by Covid-19 patients recently are (clockwise from top left) Uniqlo at Orchard Central, Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, the FairPrice outlet at Toa Payoh Hub and City Harvest Church. PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, BERITA HARIAN FILE, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - All public places visited by people with Covid-19 in the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster while they were infectious will be closed for two days for deep cleaning.

In addition, individuals who had been at those places at the same time should get tested for the virus, which will be free for them, said the authorities on Friday (April 30).

The closures – which include food and beverage outlets as well as places of worship that the infected individuals visited from April 15 to 27 – are meant to reduce the spread of the coronavirus from undetected cases in the community, said the Health Ministry.

As at Friday, 13 Covid-19 cases have been identified among staff and patients of the hospital. The hospital has taken immediate steps to lock down the affected wards, among other moves.

The ministry will also help facilitate the testing of staff in the affected places, as part of surveillance measures to ring-fence the virus transmission.

Speaking at a press conference, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said government agencies will be approaching operators and venue owners to close these places over the weekend.

Several places were visited multiple times by infected cases, such as the Masjid Hajjah Fatimah Mosque and the City Harvest Church in Jurong West.

A City Harvest Church spokesman said its Jurong West premises was closed for professional disinfecting and deep cleaning on Friday, after the organisation was informed that a positive Covid-19 case had been to the building.

“Given the spike in community cases this week, all in-person services and meetings, including cell group meetings, have been suspended with immediate effect for three weeks, until May 16 for both our premises at Suntec and Jurong West,” she said.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry taskforce tackling Covid-19, said people who were at these places at the same time as infected individuals will receive SMS messages to remind them to see a doctor if they feel unwell.

The messages will include instructions on where to go for free testing, he added.

“This will also enable us to detect any cryptic cases quickly and enable us to control the infection better,” he said.

Mr Wong reiterated that these people are not close contacts of the confirmed cases, as they would have already been placed under quarantine, and have instead been identified through the TraceTogether and SafeEntry contact tracing systems.

Remote video URL

The ministry said it will also test patients who were discharged from the hospital on or after April 18, as well as visitors to the hospital during this period.

Healthcare institutions have also been reminded to closely monitor patients who were previously admitted at TTSH from April 18, it added.

The ministry also urged all visitors and patients who were at the hospital from that date to visit a regional screening centre or public health preparedness clinic for a free test.

Such testing will also be carried out for individuals who had been to, or work at, public places visited by cases in the TTSH cluster.

SPH Brightcove Video
Tan Tock Seng Hospital has been on the front line since Covid-19 hit Singapore's shores.
Now, it is at the centre of an outbreak with 13 linked cases of Covid-19 and more expected to be confirmed.

The list of places visited by the patients during their infectious period, from April 15 to April 27, are:

- FairPrice outlets at Toa Payoh Hub, Kitchener Complex and VivoCity

- Healthy Kopitiam Foodcourt at Tan Tock Seng Hospital

- Hajjah Fatimah Mosque in Beach Road

- Uniqlo store at Orchard Central

- Al-Falah Mosque in Bideford Road

- Abdul Hamid Kg Pasiran Mosque in Gentle Road

- Cash Converters Toa Payoh

- Four Fingers and Genki Sushi at Junction 8

- Subway at Nanyang Community Centre

- City Harvest Church in Jurong West

- Esplanade Xchange, The Food Inn at Esplanade MRT

- Stirling Steaks in East Coast Road

- Paco Funworld at Bugis +

- Tuk Tuk Cha at Bugis Junction

- Yayoi and Don Don Donki at 100AM

- Poke Theory at 111 Somerset

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.