More to be tested for Covid-19 as phase two begins

This article is more than 12 months old

Singapore will carry out more Covid-19 tests as it enters phase two of its reopening today, allowing a long list of social and economic activities to resume.

Starting next week, those aged 45 and older who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection when they first visit a doctor will be tested, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.

Close contacts of confirmed cases are being tested too. Previously, they were just quarantined. Now, they will be tested before they start their quarantine.

"If anyone tests positive, we start contact tracing again based on this person's activity map," the ministry said, adding this will help to broaden the list of suspected cases, and allow infected cases to be isolated early.

The testing of those aged 45 and older is part of the Government's goal to test all individuals diagnosed with acute respiratory infection on their first visit to the doctor.

Such testing will be extended progressively to more groups, it added.

Earlier this month, it began with seniors aged 65 years and older, healthcare workers, as well as staff and older students in education institutions.

Those with respiratory symptoms are also encouraged to see a doctor immediately so they can be tested, if necessary.

The Covid-19 tests ordered by the doctors at Singapore's polyclinics and public health preparedness clinics are fully subsidised, the ministry added.

The Government will also actively screen more groups in the community. This will be done progressively, with the Health Ministry monitoring the situation and assessing the risks.

Last month, for instance, all pre-school and early intervention staff were tested before the resumption of all pre-school services.

Regular testing has also begun for workers returning to work in the construction, marine and process sectors, and front-line workers supporting Covid-19 operations, the Health Ministry said.


More regional screening centres will be set up as well to make testing more convenient.

At the same time, people are being urged by the Health Ministry to download and use the TraceTogether app to improve contact tracing.

TraceTogether tokens will be given to those without smartphones or the requisite smartphones for the app to work properly.

This will start from the end of this month, with the elderly getting the device first before it is rolled out progressively to the rest of the population.

Details will be given later.