About 27,000 maritime workers have been tested for COVID-19 in a “one-time scan”; vaccinations have started, says MPA


SINGAPORE: About 27,000 shore-based personnel were tested for COVID-19 in a “one-time sweep” between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Thursday, Jan. 14, adding that all but one tested negative.

“All of them tested negative on the PCR except one person who tested positive for PCR and serology positive, and was assessed as recovered from COVID-19 infection,” said authority, referring to polymerase chain reaction tests.

A positive serological test indicates a probable previous infection.

Shore-based personnel include those who perform essential work on board ships in ports, such as loading and bunkering operations, repairs and maintenance, as well as investigations and inspections.

They have been tested following recent cases of COVID-19 in the industry, including a marine surveyor at Lloyd’s Register Singapore and a marine service engineer at Master Systems Marine.

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Both cases have been linked to family clusters.

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COVID-19 vaccination for shore personnel began on Wednesday, MPA said.

This is part of the measures taken by the government to protect frontline workers and will include personnel who must board a ship in the port, such as sea pilots and seafarers who are Singaporeans or residents. for a long time.

As part of the additional requirements, all shore-based personnel will be required to check-in and depart using SafeEntry @ Sea when embarking and disembarking at all waterfront facilities starting Friday.

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They must provide details of their business and the vessels to be boarded and comply with safe management measures on board.

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Workers must also provide proof of a valid negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test from a listed routing test program, an ad hoc COVID-19 test or a rapid antigen test performed. within 72 hours before boarding.

As previously announced, the frequency of recorded routine tests for shore personnel who regularly board ships will also be reduced from every 14 days to every seven days.

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“The owner, occupant or manager of the riparian facility must carry out rigorous checks and prohibit staff from boarding if proof of a negative test result is not produced or if staff fail to use SafeEntry @ Sea, ”MPA said.

The owner or master of the vessel that the shore personnel embark on should also verify that the workers have the required test results.

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