Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre to close for 3 days after COVID-19 cases detected; 'some' supply disruption expected: SFA
Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre will be closed for three days from Monday (Sep 27) after COVID-19 cases were discovered. The temporary closure is expected to cause "some" disruption to Singapore's fruit and vegetable supply.
SINGAPORE: Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre will be closed for three days from Monday (Sep 27) afternoon for deep cleaning and disinfection after COVID-19 cases were detected among people who worked at and visited the premises, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
The temporary closure is expected to cause "some" disruption to Singapore's fruit and vegetable supply, said SFA in a media release on Sunday.
The centre will close at 3pm on Monday and reopen at 3pm on Sep 30, said SFA.
"SOME" DISRUPTION TO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SUPPLY EXPECTED
About 30 per cent and 50 per cent of Singapore's fruit and vegetable imports at handled at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre respectively.
"While there will be some disruption to fruits and vegetables supply, this will be only for a very short period as fruits and vegetables stalls at wet markets are usually closed on Mondays," said SFA.
The agency said it is working closely with stakeholders, such as fruits and vegetable associations, affected merchants, as well as importers and retailers, to minimise the impact on Singapore's food supply from the temporary closure.
"Major supermarkets are also making efforts to increase their stocks of fruits and vegetables," said SFA.
Singapore currently imports food from more than 170 regions, they said.
"To ensure the resilience of our food supply, we have adopted a multi-pronged strategy including import diversification, growing overseas and local production," said SFA.
It added that while there may be temporary disruptions to the supply of food during the pandemic, Singapore's supply of food is stable.
DON'T RUSH OUT TO BUY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: GRACE FU
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Sunday urged people not to rush out to buy fruits and vegetables during this period.
"Please buy only what you need so that there is ample supply for everyone," she said in a Facebook post.
SFA also reminded members of the public to observe safe management measures and maintain good personal hygiene when visiting places such as wet markets, hawker centres and coffee shops.
The agency will enhance safe management measures at the centre before it reopens on Sep 30.
"We are also increasing the frequency of testing for all persons working at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre, from a 14-day regime to a seven-day regime," said SFA.
On-arrival testing for trade visitors will continue. All tenants and workers will also be tested before they return to Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.
Singapore has seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases recently. A total of 1,443 cases were reported on Saturday, marking the fifth consecutive day new infections have exceeded the 1,000-mark.
The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases is “of concern” and putting "serious strain" on hospital resources despite the shift to community and home care, said co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong on Friday.
To slow down the community transmission, the authorities on Friday announced it would tighten certain restrictions, including reducing the group size limit for dining-in at regular food and beverage (F&B) outlets to two vaccinated people from Monday. The cap for social gatherings will also be reduced.
In July, Jurong Fishery Port was shut for two weeks after multiple COVID-19 cases were detected there. It was Singapore’s largest community cluster, with 1,155 cases linked to it before the cluster was closed earlier this month.