More than 408,000 COVID-19 tests conducted in Singapore

More than 408,000 COVID-19 tests conducted in Singapore

Singapore swab test for COVID-19
A healthcare worker dressed in personal protective equipment collects a nasal swab sample for COVID-19 in Singapore on Apr 27, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: More than 408,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Singapore as of Jun 1, Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong said in a written parliamentary reply on Thursday (Jun 4).

This means 71,700 tests have been carried out per million population.

Among these, more than 202,000 tests were done on the community population, which includes Singaporeans, permanent residents and all long-term pass holders.

"This translates to more than 37,500 tests per million population in the community," said Mr Gan.

He was responding to questions from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera, who asked about the number of tests conducted for the community population, excluding migrant workers living in dormitories.

READ: Almost a quarter of infected household members of COVID-19 patients were asymptomatic, Singapore study finds

Singapore has been ramping up its testing capacity. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had said on May 4 that the Government was working to progressively scale up its testing capacity from 8,000 to 40,000 tests a day.

Since then, authorities have conducted proactive tests on all pre-school staff members. All residents and employees at nursing homes were also tested.

On Thursday, Mr Gan said that the tests done on the community were used for community diagnostics, active case finding to prevent further transmissions, as well as surveillance testing, in particular for vulnerable groups such as the elderly in nursing homes and other residential care facilities.

He reiterated that Singapore will increase its capacity to be able to conduct as many as 40,000 tests a day in the later part of the year.

“With this, we will continue to expand testing in the community to detect cases early and reduce the risk of large clusters from developing,” he said.

Singapore reported 517 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, including 15 community cases that were all asymptomatic. The majority of new infections are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.

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Source: CNA/aa(gs)

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