As we shift our focus from COVID-19 to the two Lims, Ivan Lim and Jamus Lim, in recent days, we might’ve forgotten that the coronavirus is still wreaking havoc in our society.

Today, 188 new cases were reported, and 10 of them were from the community.

And just earlier, in a virtual press conference by the multi-ministry task force fighting COVID-19, it’s revealed that something happened in Tampines.

But hold your horses and don’t come out with a plan to move to East Coast together with your family yet; while it sounds baddy, it’s not as bad if you didn’t just skim through headlines.

Everything About the Tampines HDB Block COVID-19 ‘Cluster’, The First Since COVID-19 Hit

For a start, this started on 23 June 2020.

During a pro-active screening of dormitories, the authorities picked up a case—a 66-year-old Singaporean who works in The Leo Dormitory.

And six of his household members were tested positive, too.

Well, they stayed in their own bubble (i.e. household), so that shouldn’t raise any alarm, right?

No.

Four days later, the authorities found two more cases in the block that the first patient lives. Both live on different floors and have not interacted with the family cluster.

It’s at block 111 along Tampines St 11.

The contact tracers then investigated further.

58 households living in the block that share a common lift lobby and stairwell were contacted and checked if they were well. Two weren’t feeling well and were tested—and thankfully, they were tested negative for COVID-19.

Everyone in the 58 units, including their visitors, were put on active phone surveillance.

Can Be Tested If They Want

These people are offered a COVID-19 test if they want, and 58 of them have already gone for the test and all tested negative. Another 29 would be tested in the next two days.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, “As these households aren’t really close contacts of the confirmed cases, they’re assessed to have a lower risk of being infected. But we want to be a little bit more careful, because asymptomatic transmission could occur.”

So basically, if you thought an HDB block has been on lockdown, you’re wrong. People are still Googling Tampines for another reason.

More Tests, More Contacts and More Testing

Our dear ministers who’ve taken time out of passing flyers and greeting voters told us that the new norm is more testing.

Minister Lawrence Wong said, “More people may be asked to go for testing, more people may be quarantined because we’re casting a wider net around every single infected case in order to more effectively ring-fence and isolate the virus and stop it from spreading to other people.”

But of course, that doesn’t mean we should get complacent and start to kiss lift buttons. He added. “We shouldn’t push the system to its limits or take unnecessary risks. So while we have indeed enhanced our system… it requires everyone to do our part, take all the necessary precautions to stay vigilant and uphold the social distancing measures.”

In the meantime, on this “HDB cluster”, they’ve said that they’d give us an update once the results of the other 29 people are available.

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