All Singaporean households will receive a DIY antigen rapid test kits in line with the country’s progressive testing regime.
These Covid-19 self-test kits will be distributed by the Government and will be given first to households near large Covid clusters.
“We’re starting with those who live near markets where large clusters have been identified. We will progressively scale up and distribute to everyone in Singapore,” said Finance Minister and co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Lawrance Wong in Parliament on Monday (26 July).
Antigen Rapid Test Kits To Be Distributed To All Singaporean Households
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Singapore will reportedly also roll out other ways of testing, while the Government distributes the DIY antigen rapid test kits.
Mr Wong shared that these would include breathalyser tests in Parliament before each sitting. Plus, similar tests at the country’s checkpoints and wastewater surveillance in estates will be conducted as well.
He added, “Regular testing, and the social consciousness to get ourselves tested regularly, will protect us and keep us safe as we transit to the new normal.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also took to Facebook to share a post on his experience trying out the TraceX breathalyser Covid-19 test before attending Parliament.
He wrote, “The process was fast, simple and non-invasive. I breathed into a special tube for 10 seconds, which was then closed, disinfected and placed into a reader for analysis. The whole process only took 2 minutes. I’m sure many would prefer this to a swab test!”
He went on to explain that the TraceX breathalyser was developed by Silver Factory Technology, which is a start-up from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Safe Management Measures Against Covid-19 To Remain Relevant In Singapore
Aside from the distribution of DIY antigen rapid test kits, Mr Wong also stressed that everyone had a role to play in Singapore’s controlled and phased reopening. This includes the following safe management measures:
The minister said that mask-wearing will be one of the last rules to go in the new normal. He also added that it would still make sense to use face masks indoors and in enclosed environments as transmission risks are greater here.
Mr Wong reminded the public about the importance of wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from others in order to help reduce transmission.
He asked that we “stay disciplined and continue to maintain these practices, even as we transition towards the new normal.”
Regular enforcement checks
The country will continue with regular enforcement checks. It will also take strict action against any breach of the rules.
As noted by Mr Wong, a task force comprising various government agencies with the police has been coordinating the enforcement of safety measures in public venues since April 2020.
The minister added, “They have been doing daily enforcement checks. Where laws were flouted, offenders, both operators and individuals, have been taken to task and cases publicised.”
Image source: iStock
Other precautions against Covid-19
But the public cannot only rely on enforcement efforts alone and should still demonstrate social solidarity along with a collective sense of responsibility to do the right thing.
Mr Wong said that Singaporeans can incorporate a few simple but effective precautions into their daily routines to stay safe from Covid-19. This includes:
- Practising good personal hygiene
- Seeking a doctor when you feel unwell
- Also staying at home when you feel unwell
- Getting yourself tested
- Minimising social interactions while awaiting results
“Many have also been working tirelessly in our fight against Covid-19. It’s not just our healthcare workers like our doctors and nurses at our hospitals, clinics and community care facilities,” says Mr Wong.
He also noted, “It’s also our fellow Singaporeans on the front lines elsewhere – some in less expected settings, others in less visible places. They include our safe distancing ambassadors, food delivery riders, cleaners and many more.”
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