Some Bukit Merah, Redhill residents to get Covid-19 self-test kits; mandatory testing for Eng Watt Street residents

This comes following news of a Covid-19 cluster at Bukit Merah View market and food centre.
This comes following news of a Covid-19 cluster at Bukit Merah View market and food centre.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Residents of specific blocks in the Bukit Merah and Redhill area will receive antigen rapid test (ART) self-test kits from Saturday (June 26).

Those who are eligible will be able to collect the ART kits from their nearest Residents' Committee (RC) centre.

Mandatory testing will also be conducted for residents of Block 66 Eng Watt Street in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (June 25).

This comes as the authorities investigate likely Covid-19 transmission at Eng Watt Street, with 13 cases of Covid-19 infection detected in three households in Block 66 so far.

Ten of the 13 cases are linked to the Ecoxplore cluster, and one case to the 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre.

The remaining two cases are siblings, one studying at SIM Global Education and the other at Anglo Chinese School (Independent).

All residents of Block 66 will have to be swab-tested at the pavilion at Block 2D Boon Tiong Road on Saturday or Sunday between 9am and 4pm, the ministry said. Testing is optional for those who have tested negative for Covid-19 infection from June 22 onwards, added the ministry.

To detect possible asymptomatic cases in the community, MOH will also conduct voluntary testing for visitors and those who have interacted with residents of 66 Eng Watt Street between June 8 and June 22.

Testing will be conducted by appointment only at designated regional screening centres from Saturday to Sunday between 9am and 4pm. Those who wish to  book an appointment or get information on alternate test locations can visit this website or call 1800-333-9999.

Separately on Friday night, MOH said the distribution of ART self-test kits acts as an "added layer of ring-fencing to help identify cases and prevent further transmission".

The ministry has been investigating multiple cases of Covid-19 infection among people who live or work, or visited the vicinity.

This comes after a cluster at Bukit Merah View market and food centre, which now has 87 cases, was detected when a 74-year-old man who works at a sundry store there was confirmed to have the virus on June 9.

"In order to disrupt any wider, undetected community transmission, we have been conducting special testing operations for these individuals, as well as deploying wastewater testing in the area," said MOH.

Mandatory testing will be conducted for residents of Block 66 Eng Watt Street in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. ST PHOTO: ONG SWEE LIN

The ministry is working with the People's Association for residents of specific blocks within the region to collect the ART kits on Saturday or Sunday at their nearest RC centre.

Eligible residents are strongly encouraged to collect the kit and use it for self-testing.

They should input their postal code at the Go Where website to check on their eligibility and the nearest RC centre for collection.

Those who are eligible should bring their original IC with barcode to their nearest RC, where each member of the household - including children and domestic helpers - is entitled to a pack of two ART self-test kits.

Anyone whose test is positive or returns an invalid result twice should take a photo of their test result next to their IC or passport before disposing of their test kit. 

They should immediately call their nearest Swab and Send Home clinic to book an appointment for a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, MOH added.

As at Friday night, there are five clusters in the area.