Coronavirus: Singapore

Sufficient supply of seafood, but shoppers urged to widen choices

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu visited the Jurong Cold Store yesterday, where she observed storage facilities and stocks of frozen seafood.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu visited the Jurong Cold Store yesterday, where she observed storage facilities and stocks of frozen seafood.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Shoppers are advised to widen their choices and sources of seafood in order to ease the effects of short-term disruptions to Singapore's chilled seafood supply, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.

She added that the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is working with the Singapore Fish Merchants’ General Association and wholesalers to ensure alternative supplies are brought in by land and air.

"We're also looking at alternative distribution centres being set up, and major supermarket chains have stepped up their stocks and orders so there's sufficient supply at their stores," said Ms Fu, after a visit to the Jurong Cold Store yesterday.

There, she had a look at storage facilities and stocks of frozen seafood, including frozen shrimps, sea bass and groupers.

The Jurong Fishery Port (JFP), which handles about 30 per cent of the nation's seafood imports, including those that arrive by land and air, is closed till July 31, following the emergence of a Covid-19 cluster there.

The closure is meant to help break the chain of Covid-19 transmission and enable deep cleaning.

It has also impacted all stallholders selling fresh fish and seafood at markets managed by the National Environment Agency or operators appointed by the agency.

They have been told to stop selling until they get a negative result from a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test.

Ms Fu said the cluster has impacted Singapore's supply chain.

"We want to review how transmission has taken place by working closely with MOH (Ministry of Health). We are reviewing the SMM (safe management measures), including our CCTV footage, to ensure that we identify gaps, if there are any, and address them before we reopen JFP," she said.

Ms Fu also urged all workers of the hawker centres and markets affected to go for Covid-19 tests and get vaccinated.

The minister added that mandatory SafeEntry check-in will be enforced at all wet markets and hawker centres islandwide to help in contact tracing.

Isabelle Liew

Correction note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the Singapore Fish Merchants’ General Association.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'Sufficient supply of seafood, but shoppers urged to widen choices'. Subscribe