COVID-19: MOH shuts Little India shop for ignoring safe distancing measures

UniverCell Mobile Market at Serangoon Road. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)
UniverCell Mobile Market at Serangoon Road. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has ordered a mobile phone shop in Little India to be closed for 14 days, after it failed to impose crowd management control for safe distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

In a media release on Monday (6 April), MOH said that the owners of UniverCell Mobile Market, located at 122 Serangoon Road, must cleanse and disinfect the premises during this period.

In addition, they must take measures to ensure the abatement of any overcrowding, or any other conditions that may contribute to the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19 at the premises.

Severely overcrowded on Sunday

MOH said that officers from the Singapore Tourism Board had been conducting safe-distancing checks on Sunday at about 1pm, when they found the UniverCell premises to be severely overcrowded.

The shop also lacked proper crowd management controls, such as limiting the number of customers in the premises and ensuring a minimum of one metre of spacing between customers.

Verbal warnings by officers unheeded

Despite verbal warnings by the officers, the premises continued to be overcrowded upon checks at about 7.15pm on the same day.

The closure order was served on UniverCell on Monday at 2pm under Section 19 of the Infectious Diseases Act.

The shop will remain closed after the 14-day period until 4 May, “pursuant to the elevated safe distancing measures implemented by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce”, said MOH.

Eight establishments warned

Meanwhile, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has issued warnings to eight establishments for failing to observe adequate safe-distancing measures, despite repeated reminders to rectify and adhere to the measures.

The establishments are:

  • ChiCha San Chen outlets at Jem and Tampines 1;

  • Kaffe and Toast at Clementi Mall;

  • Koi outlets at VivoCity and Jurong Point;

  • Nakhon Kitchen at VivoCity;

  • Ya Kun at Jem; and

  • Courts at Tampines Mall.

Should these establishments not comply with the safe distancing measures in the next follow-up check, they will be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.

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