Forum: Test foreign crew of fishing vessels for Covid-19, offer vaccination

The recent outbreak of Covid-19 cases involving fishmongers and linked to Jurong Fishery Port is deeply worrying, with spillover effects on the community, businesses and food security (Singapore ramps up switch to alternative seafood supply routes, July 19).

It would be great if the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Ministry of Health could conduct an investigation on the immediate source of the transmission at Jurong Fishery Port and share their findings.

Similar to conducting pre-entry antigen rapid tests and offering free vaccination to Malaysian truck drivers at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, could the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and SFA jointly impose a stricter testing regime on foreign crew of fishing vessels and offer them the option of being vaccinated with the approved vaccines under the national vaccination programme?

This may be implemented before they are allowed to offload their catch at our fishery ports.

Also, similar to the safe management measures that are in place for Malaysian truck drivers at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre, could similar measures be adopted at fishery ports to minimise contact between their workers and the foreign crew of fishing vessels?

Should they be infected, foreign crew of fishing vessels may pose a significant risk as a source of transmission to fishery port workers, fishmongers, other wet market and hawker centre stallholders, and the rest of the community.

Tio Boey