When several new Covid-19 cases were linked to Jurong Fishery Port on Friday (16 Jul), the premises were quickly shut down.
That led to fishmongers in all Singapore markets being tested as a precautionary measure.
The results were alarming: Fishmongers at 11 markets across the island have tested positive.
A 12th, Chong Boon Market & Food Centre in Ang Mo Kio, has also been shut down as 2 cases were linked to it.
In a media release late on Saturday (17 Jul) night, the Ministry of Health (MOH) named the 11 markets where fishmongers have tested positive.
They are spread out across the East, West, North and even the downtown areas of Singapore:
Most of them tested positive via Antigen Rapid Tests (ART), MOH said.
Their statuses are being confirmed via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing.
MOH said the infected fishmongers are likely to have had contact with stallholders at Jurong Fishery Port.
That’s because they visited the place to collect their stock to sell at markets.
Thus, the existing clusters are likely being seeded by these fishmongers, MOH added.
Aggressive ringfencing is being carried out, including contact tracing, quarantine and testing.
This is to prevent further spread to other markets and food centres, and the general public.
Fishmongers are still being tested, and they’re required by law to get tested when they receive an SMS Health Risk Warning on Sunday (18 Jul).
They must head to designated testing centres for their 1st PCR test, and self-isolate till they’re found to be negative.
The fishmongers will also get self-testing ART kits. They’re supposed to use them to test themselves on the 7th day since their last exposure.
A 2nd PCR test will be administered to them at designated testing centres at about 14 days from their last exposure. This will also be required.
Additionally, 2 Covid-19 infections have been linked to a 12th market – Chong Boon Market & Food Centre, at Block 453A Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.
The 2 cases are people who work at or have visited the premises, MOH said.
There are also 3 more cases pending confirmation.
Thus, Chong Boon Market & Food Centre will now be closed for 2 weeks from Sunday (18 Jul).
It’s scheduled to reopen on 1 Aug.
This is to break the chain of transmission and enable the market to be deep cleaned.
Additionally, all workers there will be placed on quarantine, and tested during that time.
Besides Chong Boon, the 11 other affected markets will still be open for now.
However, MOH advises the public to do their marketing at these places during off-peak hours.
They can also shop at supermarkets, the ministry said.
If you do go to these markets, do avoid crowds and strictly observe safe management measures.
Singapore’s hawkers have already been badly affected by the recent dining restrictions.
Now, as markets like Chong Boon and Hong Lim are shut down, and infections are found in others, they face further difficulties.
Singaporeans who’ve gone to their neighbourhood markets may also be worried that they’re been exposed to the virus.
As always, if you’ve concerns, do monitor your health closely and seek medical treatment if unwell.
Let’s hope we’ll get through this tough period just like previous ones – by being responsible and following the rules.
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