Toa Payoh hawker centre shut as satay stall assistant Covid-19 positive after visiting KTV lounge

The hawkers received the closure notice at around 3pm on July 14.

Karen Lui | July 15, 2021, 02:17 PM

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A satay stall assistant at Block 75 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh Hawker Centre tested positive for Covid-19 infection.

The hawker centre that houses 36 hawker stalls was subsequently ordered to shut immediately.

All hawkers and staff are required to undergo testing and isolation.

Received closure notice on July 14

Lianhe Zaobao reported that the assistant was infected after visiting a KTV lounge on Sunday (July 11) and appears to be linked to the current KTV clusters.

Chen Wen Quan (translated from Chinese), 50, who works with his wife to manage the dessert stall at the hawker centre, confirmed the closure of the hawker centre in an interview with Zaobao.

Chen said they received the closure notice at around 3pm on July 14 (Wednesday), which caught all the hawkers off-guard.

He added that he and his wife immediately packed up and went home after throwing away all the ingredients.

According to Chen, they are currently waiting for further instruction as he was told that they would be contacted by the relevant parties to undergo testing.

They also heard that one measure to be taken involved being quarantined for two weeks.

Infected after visiting KTV lounge

The hawker told Zaobao that the confirmed case was a male satay stall assistant.

He said that other hawkers had seen him working at the stall on Sunday.

On the same day, the man had visited a KTV lounge and was tested positive not long after.

After the recent cluster found at Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre, Chen is worried that the Block 75 Lorong 5 Hawker Centre would share the same fate.

Chen said they were already mentally prepared to quarantine for two weeks but will still expect to make great losses due to the inability to operate their stalls during this time.

The hawker added that even when they are allowed to resume operations, business would not improve that quickly and hope the relevant authorise can adjust the rental fees.

Confidential testing process for KTV customers

On July 14, MOH confirmed 56 new cases of locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases, of which 41 belong to the KTV cluster.

At a media doorstop, health minister Ong Ye Kung urged those who had visited KTV lounges or interacted with any hostesses in the past 14 days to get tested.

The first case reported from the cluster is a short-term visitor pass holder from Vietnam who had frequented many KTV outlets.

The patient visited the GP clinic on July 11 with acute respiratory infection symptoms.

"The entire testing process is confidential, and your privacy is protected, so get yourself tested," Ong added.

To make an appointment for a Covid-19 test, click here.

Ong thanked the over 100 people, including staff and customers of the lounges, who had already got themselves tested the day before.

For those who might be uncomfortable to come forward and get tested, Ong urged them to stay at home at the very least, isolate themselves from their family members, test themselves using Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits, as well as to monitor their health for the next 14 days.

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Top images by ng ronnie and Chee Seng Lau on Google Maps for illustrative purposes.