Homeless woman, 60, stays next to Toa Payoh waste collection point after positive Covid-19 result

The police has since responded to the matter.

Jean Chien Tay | September 21, 2021, 03:33 PM

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A 60-year-old homeless woman who tested positive for Covid-19 was found sitting beside the waste collection point at Lorong 8 Toa Payoh Hawker Centre, Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) reported.

The woman reportedly tested positive in a a rapid antigen test (ART) and was awaiting her polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result.

The homeless woman was not a stranger to the area, as she has reportedly been living there for "many years".

Woman tested positive in ART test

According to SMDN, concerned members of the public said the elderly woman appeared to be "unwell" on Monday morning, Sep. 20.

Due to previous cases of infection at the hawker centre, they were worried that the woman had also been infected as she usually loiters around the area.

Moreover, the woman was reportedly not included in the Covid-19 screening test provided as she was not an employee of the market or the hawker centre.

Subsequently, the woman reportedly tested positive for Covid-19, after using a self-test kit handed to her by a member of the public.

They then arranged for the woman to get tested at a clinic nearby, in order to "get a more accurate test result".

Her Antigen Rapid Test (ART) turned out to be positive, and she was instructed to self-quarantine at home before the result of her polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is ready, as per SMDN.

PCR test results are usually only available 24 to 48 hours after testing.

However, the woman has reportedly been resting on a chair next to the waste collection point at the hawker centre, as she has no place of residence to return to.

Hasn't been home for many years due to "bad relationship" with husband

Speaking to SMDN, the homeless woman revealed that she had not returned home for "many years" as her relationship with her husband was "not amicable".

She said she has been sleeping at the hawker centre and showering at the hawker centre's washroom all this while.

The woman reportedly said that she was "fine", and that she had already received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

However, as she does not own a mobile phone, she was unable to be notified on her PCR test result, resulting in her feeling "clueless" about what to do next.

Asked if she was willing to be quarantined at a designated facility, the woman said she will cooperate with the authorities.

SPF first to respond

According to SMDN, a member of the public had reached out to the authorities in order to secure a suitable place of quarantine for the homeless woman.

However, the member of the public claimed that the Ministry of Health (MOH) could not be reached at the Covid-19 hotline, while other agencies said the matter was not under their jurisdiction.

Around noon, two policemen arrived in personal protective equipment (PPE) at the scene.

In a follow-up report by SMDN, two other policemen came to takeover their colleagues at 1pm, as the woman was believed to be awaiting arrangements from the relevant authorities.

At approximately 2.30pm, an ambulance reportedly arrived at the scene to pick the woman up.


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