Singapore is seeking to reduce the amount of time it takes to regularly check migrant workers for coronavirus infection by piloting the use of antigen rapid tests.
For a period of four weeks, a group of 1,000 migrant workers will undergo antigen rapid testing every seven days, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement. That’s in addition to the polymerase chain reaction test that they receive every 2 weeks.
The new method potentially allows infected workers to be isolated more quickly, reducing the risk of the virus spreading to other residents in dormitories.
Singapore is distributing contact-trace tokens and bolstering the testing of workers after infections in dormitories exacerbated the outbreak earlier this year. Airports are also studying rapid antigen checks, which look for the presence of the virus’s proteins, making them quicker and cheaper but less accurate than established methods that detect its nucleic acids. The better-known polymerase chain reaction tests have been regarded as the gold standard for Covid testing.
Covid-19: Singapore’s Energy Week conference to test re-opening strategy
Singapore will hold its first business conference of scale this week since the coronavirus pandemic put ice to such activities in the city-state, amid ongoing efforts to restart its economy.
The Singapore International Energy Week starts on Monday with 250 participants and on-site staff, and hundreds more are slated to join virtually.
Singapore has become a hub for oil and natural gas traders and — in a normal year — hosts dozens of conferences, roundtable discussions and happy hours for company officials to mingle and broker deals.
While places such as China and Taiwan have restarted business events from automotive shows to tech conferences with hundreds of participants, the Singapore event will be the city-state’s first step to reopening a key sector.
Those who are attending the conference at the Marina Bay Sands are required to take a Covid-19 test, with results within 30 minutes, and must download a contact-tracing app.
Singapore’s government has rolled out strict measures to stop the spread of the virus, such as implementing a partial lock-down for two months, mandatory use of masks and limiting outdoor gatherings to just five people.