SINGAPORE - A new Covid-19 cluster has emerged at the Marsiling Lane Hawker Centre and Wet Market at Blocks 20 and 21.
An MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Sept 21) that the venue will be closed from Tuesday to Friday for deep cleaning and will reopen on Saturday.
The closure was voluntary after consultation with the hawkers’ association and the town council.
Mr Zaqy told The Straits Times (ST) that there are 52 cooked food stalls, 71 meat produce stalls, 34 vegetable produce stalls and seven piece and sundry stalls at the hawker centre and wet market.
He said that to assist stallholders, his group representation constituency (GRC) team has worked with the town council to offer service and conservancy charges rebates for more than seven days to support them during the closure.
He added that the GRC team was working closely with the merchants' association to monitor the situation and see if any of the stallholders needed further assistance.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) told ST that it was aware Covid-19 cases had been detected among stallholders and workers there.
It said the centre's deep cleaning and disinfection started after 3pm on Tuesday.
When ST visited the hawker centre and wet market on Tuesday afternoon, it was empty and had been cordoned off.
All the stalls were shuttered.
Cleaning contractors were seen in personal protective equipment and were getting ready to disinfect the area.
They were also putting up posters about the closure dates on the notice board.
This is the third food centre and market to close in four days.
On Saturday (Sept 18), the Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market and Food Centre closed after Covid-19 cases were found. It re-opened on Monday.
And the Ayer Rajah Food Centre in West Coast closed on Sunday (Sept 19) after some stallholders and cleaners tested positive for the virus during regular testing. It will reopen on Wednesday.
Some residents and workers in Marsiling were not surprised about the new cluster.
A resident, Mr Koh Ah Boy, 68, who works in printing services, said: "There's nothing much to be scared of - new clusters nowadays are inevitable and all over Singapore."
But a cleaner, who only wanted to be known only as Madam Gan, 80, was worried as she works in the area.
She said: "There are cases everywhere now. However, I have no choice but to go out as I still have to work."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.