By: Aretha Sawarin Chinnaphongse
Mustafa Centre was pronounced a cluster on April 2 after 11 cases were discovered to be linked to it. As of May 3, there have been 124 cases linked and one more new case linked on May 11.
The cluster has since not yet been closed.
According to the Health Ministry’s director of medical services, Kenneth Mark, Mustafa Centre is believed to have been the starting point for hundreds of coronavirus infections at foreign worker dormitories.
After a month-long closure since April 4, Mustafa has partially reopened with only the supermarket section of the mall, with safe distancing measures in place. Long queues have been observed ever since the reopening.
Netizens have taken to expressing their opinions on the reopening of Mustafa Centre before the end of the circuit breaker.
Many feel that Mustafa should have been opened only after June 1 and that the government “should not be lenient.” Andy Lim claims that there is “no logic” that the “rest (of shopping malls)” can “wait till after 1 Jun.” Adrian Adrian comments that “supermarkets are now the in thing.”
Many netizens fear the creation of a new cluster from the reopening. Momok Chomel noted that “the big cluster originates from there” and that the reopening should be “reconsider[ed].” Others appear to be apprehensive.
However, some netizens have put the responsibility on citizens to make the conscientious decision to visit or refrain themselves from going to Mustafa Centre.
Aina Liyana pointed out that “the choice to go or not depends on you and you know that right?” and that “you can contact the virus anywhere why only scared of Mustafa eh?”
According to a forum post by Richard Thong Kok Mun, he expressed his concern about the opening despite a large number of cases every day, and hopes that “Singapore will not become complacent.”
Mr Shanmin Ahmad, manager for building maintenance and fire safety at Mustafa Centre told Straits Times that extra precautions have been taken: “We have made space inside the supermarket wider by shifting some shelves and removing some.”
Shoppers can only enter via one entrance and like other supermarkets, have to scan their Identity Cards (ICs) for contact tracing purposes and take their temperatures. Boxes are drawn to mark where people should stand at cashiers. -/TISG