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16,000 workers yet to be scheduled for routine COVID-19 test before Saturday's deadline

16,000 workers yet to be scheduled for routine COVID-19 test before Saturday's deadline

A medical worker performs a nose swab test on a migrant worker at a dormitory amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore, Apr 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: About 16,000 workers have yet to be scheduled for their mandatory rostered routine testing for COVID-19, a day before the screening deadline on Saturday (Sep 5).

Workers who fail to meet the deadline for testing will not be able to return to work, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Economic Development Board (EDB) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) said in a joint press release on Friday.

"Rostered routine testing is a critical part of the effort to detect COVID-19 early, and to contain its spread. It has already proven its value in recent weeks, in detecting cases among previously cleared workers," said the press release.

New clusters have been identified as several dormitories that were previously cleared of the disease.

READ: New COVID-19 cases at dormitories detected by routine testing is 'part of the plan': Josephine Teo

READ: New COVID-19 clusters reported at 2 dormitories previously cleared of the disease

As part of the safeguards to ensure the safe restart of work, workers staying in dormitories, workers in the construction, marine and process sectors, and personnel who go into the work sites are required to undergo rostered routine testing for COVID-19 every 14 days.

Employers have been reminded that these workers must have completed a swab test in the preceding 14 days and started their rostered routine testing cycle by Sep 5.

Agencies have also stepped up efforts to directly contact employers via calls and emails to prompt them to schedule their workers before the deadline, said the press release.

If workers do not meet the deadline, their AccessCode Status will be reflected as "red" and they will not be able to return to work. This is to protect the health and safety of the other workers, said the authorities.

Employers who are "unresponsive" and have "persistently failed" to schedule workers for testing may also have their work pass privileges curtailed, they added.

"We again remind the employers of these workers to quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers on the HPB’s Swab Registration System to avoid disruption to their business operations," said the press release.

Workers who have been scheduled under the Swab Registration System for the first time will be automatically assigned new dates for future rostered routine testing swabs.

Employers should also log in to the Swab Registration System regularly to check if there are new workers for whom they need to schedule appointments.

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Source: CNA/dv(mi)


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