MOM and MOH to pilot additional routine Covid Testing

covid testing
Toh Guan Dorm. Image Credit: Yahoo News Sg

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be
undertaking additional routine COVID testing at Toh Guan Dormitory, as a pilot to understand how frequent testing will enable earlier detection of asymptomatic cases among migrant workers.

Currently, all migrant workers staying in dormitories need to undergo Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) every 14 days. Tests are part of a multi-layered strategy for the effective prevention of new infections. Four weeks from 25 September 2020, MOM and MOH will be piloting an additional round of testing on top of the existing 14 days RRT cycle for residents in the dormitory. These measures will effectively increase the testing frequency to a 7-day cycle. So the earlier detection would mean more effective containment of the virus spread.

Conducting the pilot COVID testing within the dormitory will minimize the impact on the migrant workers’ schedule. Therefore, instead of the usual nasopharyngeal swab and a new Oropharynx/ Mid-turbinate nasal method of swabbing will be used. Also, this method of swabbing will be more comfortable for the workers.

With the earlier detection of new infections, MOM may not require the entire block of the dormitory to be quarantined should there be a COVID-19 positive case, as long as Safe Living Measures are complied with. This will enable a more targeted quarantine approach that will minimize the disruption to workers and employers.

For more information, you can view the joint press release by MOM and MOH here.

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