10 Covid-19 cases identified at Hougang HDB block, including 1 new case detected from testing operation

SINGAPORE – The Health Ministry (MOH) has identified 10 Covid-19 cases from four different households living in Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8, including one individual who tested positive during a mandatory testing exercise for residents.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for 407 residents and visitors was conducted at the block last Friday and Saturday, said MOH and the National Development Ministry in a joint statement on Sunday (May 23).

Another 126 test results are pending, the ministries added. More details on the new positive case will be given in MOH’s update on the virus situation on Sunday.

MOH said the cases detected are largely among people under quarantine who later tested positive for the virus.

“This means that they have been isolated early and ring-fenced, and were not likely to be moving around while being infectious.”

Although the four units with confirmed cases are in the same stack, meaning they are directly above or below each other, MOH said its initial assessment is that airborne transmission along the stack is highly unlikely.

“Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine linkages and the source of transmission,” it added, noting that the National Environment Agency (NEA) has worked with the town council to step up cleaning measures.

“At the same time, we are casting our surveillance net as wide as possible, including administering PCR tests for the whole block,” said the ministry.

The Hougang block is the only Housing Board (HDB) block with infected cases seen in more than two households so far, the ministry noted.

PCR tests are also being conducted for all 243 residents of Block 559 Pasir Ris Street 51, as four Covid-19 cases have been detected in two different households in the block.

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