SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has suspended the individual physical proficiency test (IPPT) for operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) until end-February due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
However, the conduct of IPPT will still continue at the unit level for NSmen attending in-camp training (ICT), it said in a Facebook post on Thursday evening (Feb 13).
MINDEF said it will temporarily close the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) fitness conditioning centres, and suspend IPPT, IPPT preparatory training (IPT) and remedial training at the centres as well as at SAFRA gyms and IPT-in-the-Park locations until the end of the month.
“This is to minimise the close congregation of large numbers of NSmen at these locations solely for the conduct of physical activities, as the facilities can get very crowded during these sessions,” it said.
NSmen who have scheduled these activities in February at the affected locations will receive an SMS informing them about the cancellation, the ministry added.
This comes after Singapore raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange. The country currently has 58 confirmed cases of the virus.
Under the new DORSCON level, organisers of large events should take necessary precautions such as carrying out temperature screening, looking out for respiratory symptoms like cough or runny nose, and denying entry to unwell individuals.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How said on Tuesday there were no plans to cancel ICT due to COVID-19, and the SAF has taken the necessary precautionary measures at its camps.
“MINDEF will continue to review and implement additional measures and adjust its policies to safeguard the well-being of national servicemen, according to the developments of the virus situation in Singapore,” the ministry said.
MINDEF said NSmen with IPPT birthday windows ending in February should reach out to their unit for assistance.
“For further IPPT- and IPT-related queries, please call the 24-hour NS Hotline at 1800 367 6767 or email email@example.com for assistance,” it added.