Toa Payoh food centre closed after hawker who allegedly visited KTV gets Covid-19

Deep cleaning being carried out at the food centre at Block 75 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh on July 15, 2021.
PHOTO: YouTube/ The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The hawker centre at Block 75 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh underwent deep cleaning on Thursday (July 15) morning after a stall assistant who allegedly visited a KTV lounge over the weekend tested positive for Covid-19.

A crew of six people wearing personal protective equipment spent about an hour spraying disinfectant and wiping down the tables and chairs at the 36-stall hawker centre managed by NTUC Foodfare.

Notices put up around the hawker centre said it would be closed until further notice, with deep cleaning and disinfection to be carried out on Thursday and Friday.

Stallholders told The Straits Times that they were notified about the positive case at about 3pm on Wednesday. They were given three hours to pack up and were told to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

Swab testers visited the homes of some of the stallholders on Thursday morning to test them for Covid-19.

Mr Tan Boon Chuan, 50, secretary of the hawker centre's stallholder association, runs a dessert stall there with his wife.

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"It was very sudden and the whole hawker centre was a mess. Everyone was anxiously packing up," he told ST in Mandarin.

He said he had to throw away all of the ingredients he had prepared for the day and would likely have to dispose of the rest he had to leave behind at his stall.

"We are just waiting to be tested," Mr Tan said, adding that most of the hawkers, including himself, are fully vaccinated.

Madam Ang Goon Lay, a 56-year-old drinks stall owner at the hawker centre, tested negative after taking an antigen rapid test, said her daughter, Ms Lim Jia Hui.

The 27-year-old said her mother, who is fully vaccinated, received a call from the Health Ministry and thought it was a scam at first.

Her mother was not worried about contracting Covid-19, but is concerned about the loss of income as the hawker centre is expected to be closed until July 25, Ms Lim added.


The hawker centre is expected to be closed until July 25. PHOTO: Stephanie Yeow


Mr Tan said he is hopeful that the hawker centre can reopen earlier as the positive Covid-19 case was absent from work this week.

He said the stall assistant who tested positive had allegedly visited a KTV lounge on Sunday.

The man, who is said to be an assistant at Fang Yuan Satay, did not turn up on Monday and went to see a doctor after feeling ill on Tuesday, Mr Tan added.

"It should not affect our hawker centre because he didn't come into contact with the people here," the stallholder said.

Asked about the hawker centre's closure, Mr Tan added: "We are not the only hawker centre to have a case, so we are mentally prepared that this could happen. We interact with so many customers, it is inevitable."

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.