6 firms awarded contracts to provide Covid-19 testing at regional screening centres, dorms

The firms will provide polymerase chain reaction swab tests and antigen rapid tests, as well as phlebotomy services, or serology tests.
The firms will provide polymerase chain reaction swab tests and antigen rapid tests, as well as phlebotomy services, or serology tests.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Six firms have been awarded contracts to provide Covid-19 swabbing and testing services at regional screening centres and dormitories, as Singapore taps the private sector to ramp up its coronavirus testing capacity.

The tender, called by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in January, was awarded on Monday (May 17).

The firms will provide polymerase chain reaction swab tests and antigen rapid tests, as well as phlebotomy services, or serology tests.

The six healthcare and diagnostics firms that will provide these services - Raffles Medical Group, MHC Medical Network, Minmed Group, Q&M Dental Group subsidiary Acumen Diagnostics, Healthway Medical Group and Fullerton Healthcare Group - were selected from a pool of 18.

These service providers will first operate at seven sites, which are five dorms, including Sungei Tengah Lodge and Tuas View, and two regional screening centres - the former Siglap Secondary School and Civil Service Club @ Changi - which combined have a projected daily capacity of 2,500.

Tender documents said that vendors of the first phase will be appointed for six months from April tentatively, with an option to extend for a further six months, subject to performance.

Similar services may be set up at other locations for phase two - 14 regional screening centres and 36 dorms - if the HPB gives the green light.

Q&M Dental Group announced its subsidiary's award on the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday, stating: "The group is proud that Acumen has been given an opportunity to contribute to Singapore's continued efforts in battling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

The company's shares went up by as much as 6.7 per cent on Wednesday following its announcement, and closed 2 per cent higher at 68.5 cents.