Covid-19

Testing for possible exposure could have been better managed

My family received a message from the Ministry of Health (MOH) suggesting that we go for a swab test due to possible Covid-19 exposure as a result of us having visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital. We were to go to any of the listed swab centres and suggested clinics between yesterday and May 16.

Early yesterday morning, we went to the clinic nearest my home which opened earliest, but were turned away because the clinic could test only those with symptoms.

We ended up at a regional testing centre at the former Bishan Park Secondary School.

We were there just before the centre opened, but there was already a long queue.

After more than an hour of queueing, someone informed me that my child, who is 11, could not be tested there. I wonder why it took so long for us to be told of that.

We left the centre after about 21/2 hours. We overheard some officials there saying that only two of the four counters were initially opened.

Did MOH underestimate the public response? Could MOH have staggered the starting dates of the swab tests? Could details such as regional testing centres not being able to test minors be listed on the website?

We need to avoid another cluster forming as a result of people congregating to be tested.

Ng Teik Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2021, with the headline 'Testing for possible exposure could have been better managed'. Subscribe