MPA Singapore announced additional COVID-19 precautionary measures at the seaport, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and port operator PSA Singapore. The measures come as four port workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ten days.
n 1 May 2021, MOH announced that two vaccinated lashing workers who worked in Pasir Panjang Terminal and stayed in the dormitories at Pasir Panjang Residence had tested positive for COVID-19. Both were asymptomatic.
Following the third and fourth cases involving a trailer truck driver and an operations assistant, MPA, MOH and PSA started special testing operations to test close to 4,000 port workers for COVID-19. They include truck drivers, prime mover drivers, foremen, quay crane and yard crane operators, engineers, cleaners, shuttle bus drivers, canteen operators, and office-based staff. As of 9 May, 1500hrs, a total of 2,750 have been tested negative for COVID-19.
Enhanced precautionary measures
In response to these, MPA and PSA, in consultation with MOH, announced they step up precautionary measures in the seaport, which come on top of the ongoing precautionary measures of vaccination, rostered routine testing, and safe management measures (SMM) stipulated by MPA. These additional measures are as follows:
- The frequency of rostered routine testing of frontline dormitory workers will be increased from every 14 days to seven days to detect COVID-19 cases earlier. In view of heightened transmission risks, this applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
- Segregation measures have also been enhanced in the terminals with separate zoning and measures to minimize mixing. In addition, terminal canteens will only allow takeaways for office staff; packed food will be delivered to frontline staff. PSA has stepped up the cleaning of common facilities such as canteens, entry/exit areas, lift lobbies, and toilets in all PSA terminals, and deep cleaning of the canteen concerned was already carried out earlier on 5 May.
- Separate toilets and other facilities for different groups of workers have also been arranged. PSA will continue to emphasize to their workers to avoid contact with the ship crew in the course of their work and to maintain good hygiene practices.
MPA reminds all port operators, workers and users to strictly adhere to the SMMs being put in place.
- In addition, MPA will step up the vaccination of maritime personnel. Under the Sea-Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), more than 32,800 maritime personnel including seaport workers, have received at least one dose of vaccine. Amongst them, some 25,500 have been fully vaccinated, including more than 18,700, or 97% of frontline workers who are exposed to higher risks. Another 6,000 maritime personnel will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.
MPA will also continue to work with port operators and shipping lines to review and strengthen SMMs to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission,