Singapore – In view of the growing number of Covid-19 cases within the community, the authorities have opened four regional screening centres (RSCs) where people can get free swab tests.
On Apr 30, the Government announced the opening of four RSCs located at the former Da Qiao Primary School in Ang Mo Kio, Shuqun Secondary School in Jurong East, Coral Primary School in Pasir Ris and Bishan Park Secondary School in Bishan.
These RSCs are offering Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests from May 3 to May 16 to members of the public.
The increased testing and safety precautions are in response to the growing number of cases linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster. Currently the largest active local cluster, it has 35 confirmed cases to date.
Those who have been to TTSH or any of the specified public places visited by confirmed cases should go to the RSCs to be tested, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). So should those who are possible contacts of the confirmed cases.
The cost of the tests will be fully borne by the Government.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from 10 cases in the week before to 60 cases last week, according to MOH. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from four in the week before to 10 last week.
As the RSCs opened to the public on May 3, images of snaking queues and feedback from those who got tested began circulating on social media.
“Done with the Covid-19 testing swab at Quarry Bay Community Hall today,” wrote a member of the public on Facebook.
She said those who can’t book online could still go to a nearby community testing centre with an ID for registration and verification.
“I had to queue for quite a while today,” added the individual.
Another allegedly waited from 10.30 am to 12 pm at Ang Mo Kio, only to be advised to come back at 3 pm for her swab test.
Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that many opted to get tested on May 3 as it was a holiday.
A 70-year-old told Shin Min that he queued for four hours under the sun.
“The recent community cases are a reminder that the risks of a Covid-19 outbreak remain high. Even as we press ahead with vaccination, we must remain vigilant to avoid a resurgence of cases,” said the Government./TISG
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