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Stallholders, shop owners and food delivery workers in Chinatown to get COVID-19 test before Chinese New Year

Stallholders, shop owners and food delivery workers in Chinatown to get COVID-19 test before Chinese New Year

Pedestrians wait along a street intersection decorated for Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Singapore on Jan 19, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: COVID-19 surveillance testing will be extended to cover stallholders, shop owners, those working in the food and beverage industry and food delivery workers operating in the Chinatown area in the leadup to Chinese New Year.

The testing – which will be paid for by the Government – will be conducted between Feb 8 and Feb 9, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Friday (Jan 22).

“While there has been no evidence that these community groups are at higher risk of infection, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be offering tests to them as they are expected to interact more frequently with other members of the public during this time,” said MOH.

READ: Cap of 8 visitors per day in each household from Jan 26 as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

The health ministry said authorities will progressively reach out to these identified groups with further details.

“We strongly encourage all individuals in the identified community groups to come forward for testing,” the health ministry added.

Surveillance testing was previously offered to workers at key delivery centres, logistics delivery firms, and stallholders at Tekka Centre, among others.

READ: Rules on visiting and tossing yusheng: 7 things to note this Chinese New Year amid COVID-19

READ: COVID-19: Seniors in Ang Mo Kio, Tanjong Pagar to get vaccinated from Jan 27; national roll-out for elderly begins mid-February


Separately, the health ministry announced that the Government will be extending subsidies for rostered routine testing (RRT) of workers in sectors that have higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 or "with a larger negative impact if they were to have a COVID-19 infection in their midst".

These include workers living in dormitories, those working in the construction, marine and process, aviation and maritime sectors. 

The subsidies were slated to last until Mar 31, but will now be extended to Sep 30 "to support their safe operations", said MOH.

READ: COVID-19 tests to be offered to workers at key delivery centres, logistics delivery firms

READ: Workers who have recovered from COVID-19 exempted from rostered routine testing: MOH, MOM

The extension of subsidies comes as “COVID-19 continues to pose significant public health risks in these sectors”, the health ministry added.

“The Government will continue to review its subsidies for COVID-19 RRT to ensure that they support our public health efforts while sharing the costs equitably between taxpayers, employers and individuals.” 

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Source: CNA/cl(ta)


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