All residents of Pasir Ris HDB block to undergo COVID-19 testing

·Editorial Team
·3 min read
Left: Cleaning and disinfection works being conducted at Block 559 Pasir Ris Street 51 and its surrounding HDB blocks. Right: A resident undergoing a swab test at a Regional Screening Centre. (PHOTOS: Desmond Tan / Facebook)
Left: Cleaning and disinfection works being conducted at Block 559 Pasir Ris Street 51 and its surrounding HDB blocks. Right: A resident undergoing a swab test at a Regional Screening Centre. (PHOTOS: Desmond Tan / Facebook)

SINGAPORE — All 243 residents of a Block 559 Pasir Ris Street 51 will be swab tested after four COVID-19 cases were found to be living at the HDB block.

The move is a "precautionary measure" said Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament Desmond Tan in a Facebook post on Sunday (23 May) morning.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) declared that all residents of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 would have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing after a "few" COVID-19 cases were found to be living at the block. A joint news release by MOH and the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Sunday said there are 10 COVID-19 cases across four households at the block, with one case having been detected through the mandatory testing.

The release also noted that the four cases at the Pasir Ris HDB block were spread across two households.

Tan added that the residents of Block 559 have been informed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to undergo their swab test at the Regional Screening Centre (RSC) located at the former Coral Primary School. The swab tests will be conducted on Sunday and Monday, from 9am to 4pm.

"Residents will also receive SMS notification for their appointment for the swab. Kindly stick to your time slot to avoid overcrowding at the RSC and ensure a smooth and safe swab test," he said.

Residents of the surrounding HDB blocks need not go for testing unless they have visited households at the affected block from 2 May. 

Tan said that Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council is also working with the National Environment Agency to conduct at thorough cleaning and disinfection of the common areas at Block 559 and the surrounding blocks.

In a second Facebook post on Sunday, Tan said he had visited Block 559 and found that residents there were "calm and understood the need" for the swab tests. He also shared that the infected residents were being cared for at the hospital or community care facilities and that their close contacts were in quarantine.

"Residents appreciated the effort and assurance to provide this swab test. I thank residents of B559 for their understanding and cooperation," said Tan.

Residents not under quarantine

The MOH-MND release noted that the residents of the Hougang and Pasir Ris HDB blocks are not under quarantine and are free to leave their homes as well as to carry on with all activities allowed under the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) regulations

Deliveries of goods and services, such as cylinder gas, food and repair works, to units at the affected blocks are also still allowed. 

"We strongly urge service providers to continue to extend their services to the residents and support our fellow Singaporeans," said the ministries.

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