The hawker centre at Block 75 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh, which houses 36 hawker stalls managed by NTUC Foodfare, has been ordered to shut immediately after a stall assistant who allegedly visited a KTV lounge over the weekend tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
Closure notices have also been put up around the hawker centre, informing the public that deep cleaning and disinfection will be carried out on Thursday (15 July) and Friday (16 July), as reported by The Straits Times (ST) earlier today.
Stallholders told ST that they were alerted about the positive case at around 3pm on Wednesday (14 July) and were given three hours to pack up their things.
It was stated that stallholders are required to quarantine themselves for two weeks. Some stallholders have had swab testers visited their home on Thursday morning for the COVID-19 test.
Speaking to ST, 50-year-old Tan Boon Chuan, who runs a dessert stall with his wife and also a secretary of the hawker centre’s stallholder association, said that the closure notice was “very sudden” and “everyone was anxiously packing up”.
Mr Tan noted that he had to throw away all of the ingredients he had prepared for the day due to the sudden closure notices.
He added that most of the hawkers, including himself, are fully vaccinated and currently waiting to be tested.
According to Mr Tan, the stall assistant who tested positive for the virus works at Fang Yuan Satay and had allegedly visited a KTV lounge earlier on Sunday (11 July).
The man was absent from work on Monday and went to see a doctor on Tuesday, said Mr Tan.
“It should not affect our hawker centre because he didn’t come into contact with the people here,” he expressed, hoping that the hawker centre can reopen sooner.
Mr Tan went on to say that stallholders are “mentally prepared that this could happen” as they have to interact with many customers when operating their business.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 42 new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 infection earlier today, of which 33 belong to the KTV cluster.
MOH had also urged members of the public who had visited the following KTV lounges between 29 June to 13 July, to come forward for a free swab test:
- Supreme KTV (Far East Shopping Centre)
- Empress KTV (Tanglin Shopping Centre)
- Club Dolce (Balestier Point)
- WU Bistro Pte Ltd (Golden Mile Complex)
- Club De Zara Pte Ltd (Textile Centre)
- One exclusive (114 Middle Road)
- Level 9 (L9) Bistro (114 Middle Road)
- Club M (114 Middle Road)
- Terminal 10 (Clarke Quay)
Those who had visited similar KTV lounges operating as F&B outlets, or had interacted with any Vietnamese social hostesses in any setting, are also advised to come forward for swab tests too.
“All visitors to these premises and similar settings, or those with the above social interactions, are also advised to monitor their health closely, and minimise social interactions as far as possible, for 14 days from their last date of visit,” said MOH.
“Individuals who develop any COVID-19 symptoms should see their doctor immediately.”
Netizens sympathise with stallholders, urge Govt to check all converted KTV lounges
Penning their thoughts under the comment section of ST’s Facebook post on the matter, many netizens expressed their sympathy towards the stallholders of Toa Payoh hawker centre for the sudden closure, indicating it a warning for the Government to check all the converted KTV lounges.
In fact, some even urged the Government to close down all KTV lounges and clubs for safety measures.
“I really hope the authorities will put more effort into checking and making sure all these ‘converted ktv lounges’ observe social distancing measures. No point being strict on the true blue f&b outlets while being ‘lenient’ with the ‘converted’ ones,” said one netizen.
Another netizen wrote: “The authorities should checked all KTVs in SG once n for all n relay strict rules for all to adhere n the serious consequences for breaches.”