COVID-19 testing to be offered to more community groups like taxi drivers, food delivery workers and hawkers

COVID-19 testing to be offered to more community groups like taxi drivers, food delivery workers and hawkers

A taxi driver is seen waiting for passengers outside Swissotel The Stamford
A taxi driver waits for passengers outside Swissotel The Stamford. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Aug 29) that it plans to offer COVID-19 testing to community groups such as taxi drivers, food delivery workers, as well as stallholders at hawker centres, markets and coffee shops.

This is part of efforts to expand the COVID-19 testing regime, said the ministry. 

"These tests will be offered to these groups to provide a better picture of population prevalence and facilitate the early containment of any cryptic cases in the community," it added.

"While there has been no local evidence that these community groups are of higher risks of getting infected, MOH will be offering tests to them given the nature of their working environment, such as the high frequency of interactions with members of public."

MOH said authorities will progressively reach out to the identified community groups to offer the testing on a one-time basis, adding that costs of the tests will be fully borne by the Government.

"We strongly encourage individuals in the identified community groups to come forward and utilise the tests offered," it added.

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MOH said it regularly reviews its testing strategies.

Apart from the surveillance testing on patients above the age of 12 diagnosed with acute respiratory infection, groups such as  pre-school teachers, residents and employees of elderly homes were also tested, it noted. 

"Although the number of community cases remains low and stable today, we must not let our guard down," said MOH.

"As we gradually reopen our economy and resume social activities, we will be testing more extensively in the community."

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Source: CNA/lk(gs)

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