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COVID-19 outbreak: 62,000 workers in Singapore yet to be tested

To date, about 1,500 employers have yet to log into HPB's swab registration system to schedule their workers for their rostered routine testing.

Published: 01st September 2020 04:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2020 04:45 PM   |  A+A-

Singapore Coronavirus

For representational purposes (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

SINGAPORE: A total of 62,000 workers in Singapore, mostly foreigners employed in labour-intensive industries, have yet to be scheduled for their mandatory rostered routine testing for COVID-19 ahead of the screening deadline on Saturday, authorities warned on Tuesday.

Those who fail to do so 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.

To date, about 1,500 employers have yet to log into HPB's swab registration system to schedule their workers for their rostered routine testing.

This is about 8 per cent of the total number of employers who have to do so, said the release.

As part of the safeguards to ensure the safe restart of work, workers, many of them from India, 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 every 14 days.

Employers are reminded that these workers must have completed a swab test in the preceding 14 days and started their 14-day rostered routine testing cycle, reported Channel News Asia, citing the release.

Workers who have not done so will have their AccessCode Status reflected as Red under the "Health Status" and will not be able to return to work, the press release stated.

"We remind these employers to quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers to avoid disruption to their business operations. They can view the available test locations in the swab registration system when booking appointment dates.

"This comprises 18 Regional Screening Centres across the island," added the press release.

Once workers have been scheduled under the swab registration system for the first time, they will be automatically assigned new dates for future rostered routine testing swabs.

Employers should log in to the swab registration system regularly to check if there are new workers whom they need to schedule appointments for.

The authorities said employers who behave irresponsibly and persistently fail to schedule workers for rostered routine testing may have their work pass privileges curtailed.

BCA has taken action against a group of companies and their workers who have failed to undergo rostered routine testing for a prolonged period of time, despite multiple reminders to their employers.

BCA said it has rescinded the approval to resume work for 1,148 workers thus far.

These workers will be allowed to return to work once they have undergone their rostered routine testing.

Meanwhile, Singapore reported 40 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including one in the community and seven imported infections.

This brings the national total to 56,852.

The single community infection is a foreign worker on work pass here, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily preliminary update.

All seven imported cases had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

The rest of the infections is among foreign workers.

The seven imported cases reported on Monday had returned from India and Malaysia on Aug 17 and 19.

With 72 cases discharged on Monday, 55,658 patients have fully recovered from the disease and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.

A total of 78 patients remain in hospital, while 1,049 are recuperating in community facilities.



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