HPB to set up more regional screening centres for COVID-19 testing: MOH

SINGAPORE - MAY 12:  A man wearing a protective mask has his temperature taken before entering a McDonald's fast food restaurant on May 12, 2020 in Singapore. The Singapore government starts easing lockdown measures today to allow businesses such as selected food retail outlets, laundry services, barbers, home-based food businesses and pet supplies stores to resume operations, while still maintaining the partial lockdown until June 1 to bring down the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within the community.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective mask has his temperature taken on 12 May 2020 in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Health Promotion Board (HPB) will set up more regional screening centres (RSCs) to support Singapore’s COVID-19 testing needs, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (8 June).

The announcement comes as the government steps up active testing on targetted groups in order to detect COVID-19 cases early and reduce the risk of large clusters forming.

Following their deployment at temporary sites to carry out screening services for preschool staff in May, the RSCs at other sites started supporting workers in sectors such as construction and marine earlier this month.

Two such centres began operations last Tuesday at the Old Police Academy and The Float @ Marina Bay. HPB set up two more on Monday at Bukit Gombak sport hall and Bishan sport hall while another will be located at 2 Bedok North Street 2, at the former Sepak Takraw sport hall.

Other testing facilities will be set up in partnership with private partners, such as the drive-through testing service at One Farrer Hotel.

The RSCs will be located in places easily accessible to support the needs of the community.

The MOH said, “The RSCs are set up with proper infection control measures, and strict safe distancing requirements will be observed to protect individuals and the community.”

As the RSCs do not take in walk-in requests, individuals who are unwell should consult doctors who will refer them for screening at such centres if necessary, the MOH said.

Last month, the authorities completed testing for all staff and residents in the MOH and Ministry of Social and Family Development residential homes for seniors. The testing of pre-school and early intervention staff before pre-schools resumed operations had also been completed.

Testing is continuing in the migrant worker dormitories and for workers in the construction, marine and process sectors who are resuming their duties. These sectors have been identified as having a higher proportion of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Similarly, testing has been expanded to cover frontline workers supporting COVID-19 operations.

“We have also extended testing to individuals who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection (ARI) at first presentation to a doctor, starting first with groups such as seniors 65 years old and above, healthcare workers, as well as staff and older students of our education institutions. This is to allow us to identify COVID-19 cases earlier and to quickly contain any potential spread in the community,” the MOH said.

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