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More precautionary measures at seaport after workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal test positive for COVID-19

More precautionary measures at seaport after workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal test positive for COVID-19

File photo of Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore. (Photo Mubin Saadat)

SINGAPORE: Authorities will step up precautionary measures at Singapore’s seaport after several workers tested positive for COVID-19, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Sunday (May 9).

The authority is working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and port operator PSA Singapore on these additional measures, it said in a news release.

These will be added to existing measures, which includes vaccination, rostered routine testing and safe management measures as stipulated by MPA in the port marine circulars, it added.

READ: PSA port workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal to be tested after new COVID-19 cluster found

The new measures come after four workers at the seaport facilities were detected to be infected with COVID-19 over the past 10 days, said MPA.

In response to CNA's query, MPA confirmed the case numbers of the workers who have contracted the disease. They are case 62937, reported on May 8; case 62824, listed on May 5; as well as cases 62691 and 62684, which were both reported on May 1.

The MPA, MOH and PSA have started special testing operations for nearly 4,000 port workers. Of these, 2,700 have tested negative as of 3pm on Sunday. The testing operations were expected to be completed by the end of Sunday.

READ: 2 more COVID-19 cases linked to Pasir Panjang Terminal cluster, including SAF contractor

READ: 7 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including 3 workers at Changi Airport

As part of the new measures, 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, MPA said. 

This will apply to all workers regardless of their vaccination status in view of the heightened transmission risks, it added.

Segregation measures have also been enhanced in terminals with separate zoning and measures to minimise intermingling.

“In addition, terminal canteens will only allow takeaways for office staff; packed food will be delivered to frontline staff,” MPA said.

“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 May 5.”

READ: 2 workers living at Pasir Panjang Residence dormitory among new COVID-19 infections

Separate toilets and 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 said.

It added that it will step up the vaccination of maritime personnel. More than 32,800 personnel, including seaport workers, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with about 25,500 fully vaccinated.

This includes more than 18,700 workers, or 97 per cent of frontline workers who are exposed to higher risks.

Another 6,000 will be vaccinated in the coming weeks, MPA added.

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Source: CNA/ga

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