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MPA: 2,750 tested negative for COVID-19 in ten-day special testing operations

10 May 2021

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Sunday (9 May) said it is working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and port operator PSA Singapore on additional precautionary measures at the seaport.

Over the past ten days, four workers at the seaport facilities have been detected to be infected with COVID-19.

On 1 May 2021, MOH announced two vaccinated lashing workers who worked in Pasir Panjang Terminal, while staying in the dormitories at Pasir Panjang Residence, bring tested positive for COVID-19 during the rostered routine testing and the subsequent contact tracing exercise. Both were asymptomatic.

Following the third and fourth cases involving a trailer truck driver and an operations assistant, MPA, MOH and PSA started special testing operations to test close to 4,000 port workers for COVID-19.

They include truck drivers, prime mover drivers, foremen, quay crane and yard crane operators, engineers, cleaners, shuttle bus drivers, canteen operators and office-based staff.

As of 1500hrs on Sunday, 2,750 have been tested negative for COVID-19.

MPA and PSA, in consultation with MOH, will step up precautionary measures at Singapore port. This is on top of the ongoing precautionary measures of vaccination, rostered routine testing and safe management measures (SMM) stipulated by MPA in the port marine circulars. These additional measures are as follows:

  • The frequency of rostered routine testing of frontline dormitory workers will be increased from every 14 days to seven days to detect COVID-19 cases earlier. In view of heightened transmission risks, this applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
  • Segregation measures have also been enhanced in the terminals with separate zoning and measures to minimise mixing. In addition, terminal canteens will only allow takeaways for office staff; packed food will be delivered to frontline staff. PSA has stepped up the cleaning of common facilities such as canteens, entry/exit areas, lift lobbies, and toilets in all PSA terminals, and deep cleaning of the canteen concerned was already carried out earlier on 5 May.
  • Separate toilets and other facilities for different groups of workers have also been arranged. PSA will continue to emphasise to their workers to avoid contact with the ship crew in the course of their work and to maintain good hygiene practices.

“MPA reminds all port operators, workers and users to strictly adhere to the SMMs being put in place. MPA will also step up the vaccination of maritime personnel,” it states.

“Under the Sea-Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), more than 32,800 maritime personnel including seaport workers, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Amongst them, some 25,500 have been fully vaccinated, including more than 18,700, or 97% of frontline workers who are exposed to higher risks. Another 6,000 maritime personnel will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

“Our seaport is vital in safeguarding Singapore’s supplies and keeping global supply chains open. It is essential that the seaport continues to be able to service ships calling at Singapore.

“MPA will also continue to work with port operators and shipping lines to review and strengthen SMMs to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 10 May, 2021

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