COVID-19 Swab Test to Be Performed on over 3000 Residents in Shelters, Children's Homes, Special Needs Centres
Minister Desmond Lee calls to "work together towards a new COVID-Safe normal."
In a bid to curb a rise in Coronavirus case numbers in the community, approximately 3,300 staff, residents, and clients of several children’s homes, crisis shelters and special needs centres or disability homes, are to undergo swabbing for the COVID-19 test to rule out infection.
In a Facebook post on 29 June, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee noted the subjects for testing will also include staff and clients involved in community services catering to those with disabilities, such as sheltered workshops, establishments hosting day activities, and special student care centres.
“I’d like to thank the staff, residents and clients of our facilities for undertaking these tests as we work together towards a new COVID-Safe normal,” Minister Lee noted.
COVID-19 test part of Phase two reopening measures
Minister Lee further noted that the tests were being conducted in line with extended community testing efforts as part of Phase two of Singapore’s gradual reopening after the circuit breaker measures were implemented.
This initiative was announced earlier last week on June 25 by the Ministry of Health (MOH). The reopening of the economy would herald ramped up testing efforts and capacities as public spaces fill out with more people out in the open.
In his Facebook post, the Minister further added that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) had previously tested staff and residents of residential facilities serving the elderly, including welfare homes and sheltered homes, and that the tests had returned negative.
However, he added that they were “staying vigilant.”
“From July, we will conduct fortnightly sample tests of all the staff and residents of our facilities serving seniors to keep tabs on their health. These tests complement existing safe management measures such as the mandatory wearing of masks in the homes and facilities, regular temperature and health checks, frequent washing of hands and cleaning of high touch areas,” the Minister added.
In addition, more people will be swabbed for the COVID-19 test including everyone aged 13 and above who present symptoms of acute respiratory infection, and front-line staff interacting with travellers. To deal with the anticipated increase in the number of people being tested there will be an increase in regional screening centres.