Ample supply of frozen seafood, consumers urged to widen choices, says Grace Fu after Jurong Fishery Port closure
SINGAPORE: There is ample supply of frozen seafood in Singapore, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Wednesday (Jul 21) as she urged consumers to widen their choices following disruptions at Jurong Fishery Port.
The closure of the port, after being identified as a COVID-19 cluster, has caused short-term disruptions to the supply of chilled seafood.
"But we have ample supply and stock of frozen seafood," said Ms Fu.
"So I urge members of the public to widen your choices and including ... widening where you buy your seafood so that we can have sufficient supply for all Singaporeans."
Speaking after a visit to Jurong Cold Store, Ms Fu said that the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has been working with stakeholders to ensure that alternative supplies are brought in by land and air.
READ: ‘A lot of confusion’ for stallholders and fishmongers as stalls remain closed with COVID-19 testing under way
Authorities are also looking into alternative distribution centres, said Ms Fu.
“Major supermarket chains have stepped up their stocks and orders so that there is sufficient supply into their stalls,” she added.
PORT'S SAFETY MEASURES UNDER REVIEW
The Jurong Fishery Port cluster is the largest active COVID-19 cluster in Singapore. Its two-week closure, until Jul 31, has disrupted the supply chain, affecting wholesalers to wet market sellers who rely on the port to get their stocks of seafood.
"The cluster at JFP (Jurong Fishery Port) is a matter of serious concern to us. It has impacted our supply chain and we want to review how transmission has taken place, working closely with MOH (Ministry of Health)," said Ms Fu.
Authorities will also review the port’s safe management measures as well as look into closed-circuit television footage to ensure that any gaps are identified and addressed before the port reopens, she said.
Noting that the cluster has affected not just port workers and traders, but also stallholders and assistants at hawker centres and markets, Ms Fu urged them to go for their COVID-19 test.
“We are concerned for their health and safety and would like to work closely with MOH to get them tested, so we urge all workers and stall assistants and stallholders of our hawker centres and markets to go for their tests," she said.
"Every hawker centre and market should get tested.”
Ms Fu also encouraged all stallholders at hawker centres and markets to get vaccinated, adding that the authorities will go from centre to centre to encourage them to do so.
As of Tuesday, COVID-19 cases have been detected in at least 35 markets and food centres linked to the growing Jurong Fishery Port cluster.
According to a list of the affected markets released by MOH, four markets are listed as COVID-19 clusters linked to the port. They are Chong Boon Market & Food Centre, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Haig Road Market & Food Centre and Chong Pang Market.
TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will progressively be introduced at all wet markets and hawker centres in Singapore over the coming weeks.
This means everyone entering wet markets and hawker centres will have to check in with their TraceTogether app or token using the SafeEntry Gateway, or by scanning SafeEntry QR codes with their TraceTogether app.
Authorities said wet markets and hawker centres are frequently visited by members of the community. They are also where many seniors tend to congregate.
“The potential for transmission is high given the close proximity between individuals or mask-off activities, as evidenced by the recent clusters detected at these settings,” MOH said on Tuesday, adding that there is a need to facilitate quicker contact tracing to curb potential transmission at these settings.