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Fresh fish and seafood stalls ordered to stop operating; stallholders to undergo COVID-19 test

Fresh fish and seafood stalls ordered to stop operating; stallholders to undergo COVID-19 test

A man wearing a face mask makes a purchase at a fish stall in Geylang Serai wet market in Singapore on Apr 23, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Fresh fish and seafood stallholders at markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or its appointed operators were ordered to stop operations on Sunday (Jul 18), as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This comes after the emergence of COVID-19 clusters among fishmongers who had visited the Jurong Fishery Port to collect stocks and sell at the markets.

Stallholders will receive an SMS health risk warning from the Ministry of Health (MOH), which requires them to undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at designated testing centres.

They will be required to self-isolate and not leave their homes until they are confirmed to have tested negative, NEA and MOH said in a joint news release.

Infographic markets and food centres linked to COVID-19 cases in Singapore

READ: COVID-19 cases detected among fishmongers in at least 11 markets

Stallholders will also be able to walk in to specified regional screening centres on Sunday should they wish to be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, and those who test negative will be allowed to resume business immediately.

In addition, they will also be issued with self-test antigen rapid test kits and are required to self-administer a test on the seventh day from their last exposure, MOH and NEA said.

Another PCR test will be required at designated testing centres around the 14th day from their date of last known exposure.

COVID-19 testing will also be conducted for all stallholders and stall assistants of market stalls and cooked food stalls at hawker centres and markets managed by NEA or its appointed operators.

READ: Fishmongers from all markets to be tested for COVID-19, says MOH

They will be notified of the details of their scheduled test via SMS, the agencies said, adding that stalls not selling fresh fish or seafood can remain in operation while the testing of stallholders is taking place.

“We urge all stallholders and stall assistants to get tested, for their benefit and that of their patrons,” NEA and MOH said.

“We advise all visitors to the markets and food centres to avoid crowds, to visit during off-peak hours where possible, and to strictly observe safe management measures.”

MOH on Saturday announced it was testing fishmongers from all markets following the detection of new clusters at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre and Jurong Fishery Port.

Special testing operations are also ongoing for visitors who have been at the port between Jul 3 and Jul 16.

Both Hong Lim Market & Food Centre and Jurong Fishery Port have been closed to the public until Jul 31 to facilitate deep cleaning.

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Source: CNA/ga


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