About 27,000 marine sector workers tested for COVID-19 in 'one-time sweep'; vaccinations have started, says MPA

About 27,000 marine sector workers tested for COVID-19 in 'one-time sweep'; vaccinations have started, says MPA

Singapore maritime shipping file
A fully loaded container vessel waits outside a container terminal in Singapore on Feb 9, 2017. (Photo: AFP / ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: About 27,000 shore-based personnel were tested for COVID-19 in a "one-time sweep" between Jan 2 and 8, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Thursday (Jan 14), adding that all but one tested negative.

“All have tested PCR-negative except for one person who was tested PCR-positive and serology-positive, and has been assessed to have recovered from COVID-19 infection,” the authority said, referring to polymerase chain reaction tests.

A positive serology test indicates a likely past infection.

Shore-based personnel include those who carry out essential work onboard vessels in ports, such as cargo and bunkering operations, repairs and maintenance, as well as surveys and inspections.

They were tested following recent COVID-19 cases in the sector, including a marine surveyor at Lloyd’s Register Singapore and a marine service engineer at Master Systems Marine.

Both cases have been linked to family clusters.

READ: COVID-19 cases in Singapore include second Raffles Girls' student linked to cluster; 30 new infections in all

VACCINATION FOR SHORE-BASED PERSONNEL

COVID-19 vaccination for shore-based personnel started on Wednesday, said MPA.

This is part of the Government's measures to protect frontline workers, and it will include personnel who are required to board a vessel in port, such as marine pilots and seafarers who are Singaporeans or long-term residents.

As part of additional requirements, all for shore-based personnel will be required to check in and out using SafeEntry@Sea when embarking and disembarking at all waterfront facilities from Friday.

They must provide details of their company and vessels to be boarded and comply with safe management measures on board.

READ: Additional COVID-19 measures for marine sector after recent cases form family clusters

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Workers must also produce proof of a valid negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test from a rostered routing testing programme, an ad hoc COVID-19 test or antigen rapid test taken within 72 hours before boarding the vessel.

As previously announced, the frequency for rostered routine testing for shore-based personnel who board vessels regularly will also be increased from every 14 days to every seven days.

“The waterfront facility’s owner, occupier or manager must conduct stringent checks and disallow any personnel from going on board if proof of a negative test result is not produced or if the personnel fails to use SafeEntry@Sea,” MPA said.

The owner or master of the vessel which the shore-based personnel is boarding must also verify that workers have the required test results. 

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Source: CNA/ga(gs)

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