SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has identified 10 COVID-19 cases from four households at Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8.
"They are largely Persons Under Quarantine who turned positive for COVID-19. This means that they have been isolated early and ring-fenced, and not likely to be moving around while being infectious," said MOH in a joint news release with the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Sunday (23 May).
One of the cases was detected after mandatory COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was announced for all residents of the block earlier in the week. In total, 407 residents and visitors from the block were tested over Friday and Saturday, with 126 more test results pending.
Those who missed their test can still undergo their mandatory free swab test on Sunday and Monday. (Click here for the list of clinics).
The release noted that all the cases detected at the block were "in the same stack" and that, based on MOH's initial assessment, airborne transmission of the coronavirus is "highly unlikely". "Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine linkages and the source of transmission," it added.
Based on the case numbers provided, the COVID-19 infections at the Hougang block are linked to at least two clusters, including the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster that currently has 105 cases. One of the cases, a 57-year-old Malaysian woman, had preliminarily tested positive on 16 May for the B1617 COVID-19 variant that originated from India.
Also announced in the release was the mandatory testing for residents of Block 559 Pasir Ris Street 51, where four COVID-19 cases have been detected across two households. Residents of the block can visit the Regional Screening Centre located at former Coral Primary School from 9am to 4pm from Sunday to Monday to take their test. They can also contact 1800-333-9999 with any queries.
The ministries also noted that cleaning and disinfection works have been carried out at the public areas of the Hougang block and will also be conducted at the Pasir Ris block.
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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