10 Covid-19 ART kits to be delivered to every S'pore household from Oct 22

SingPost staff sorting out ART kits into postal packages. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
The national postal service will be making up to 60,000 deliveries of ART kits on top of its regular mail deliveries. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
A SingPost staff arranging bags of ART kits by postal code to be sent out at the Singpost Regional Ecommerce Logistics Hub. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - From Friday (Oct 22), around 1,000 postmen will be delivering 10 antigen rapid test (ART) kits to every Singapore household.

This will benefit some 1.54 million households, the Ministry of Health (MOH) told The Straits Times.

The kits will be mailed out via SingPost, making it more convenient for the public to test themselves regularly at home.

This distribution exercise - which will last from Friday to Dec 7 - is the second of its kind.

It comes as Singapore recorded 3,994 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, MOH said that the surge in Covid-19 cases has placed significant pressure on public hospitals here, with 67 per cent of intensive care unit beds occupied.

While the Republic will extend its Covid-19 restrictions until Nov 21, it will also step up testing efforts, with primary school pupils having to take an ART every two weeks until school closes for the holidays next month.

To equip the public with sufficient ART kits, SingPost told The Straits Times it has mobilised its postmen to work on Saturdays, on top of their five-day work week.

SingPost said: "The Saturday shifts will be solely dedicated to delivering ART kits, as compared with the weekday rounds where postmen deliver regular mail as well."

On weekdays, the national postal service will be making up to 60,000 deliveries of ART kits on top of its regular mail deliveries. Each delivery will consist of two boxes of five ART kits.

On Saturdays, postmen will be able to make up to 100,000 such deliveries.

ST understands these numbers will fluctuate, as SingPost takes on other national distribution projects.

Besides the ART kits, SingPost is also assisting with the delivery of grocery vouchers to 160,000 Singaporeans this month to support them with their household expenses during the pandemic.

Ms Neo Su Yin, head of SingPost's domestic post and parcel business, said: "SingPost is honoured to do our part in the national fight against Covid-19. Despite having to make deliveries on several weekends, our teams recognise the importance of this national distribution and are proud to serve the country."

SingPost staff shifting ART kits for manual sorting at the Singpost Regional Ecommerce Logistics Hub. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Households will be receiving the SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 Ag Home Test, which biomedical and life sciences distributor SPD Scientific has brought in from South Korea.

The ART kits yield results in 15 minutes and will require users to rotate the swab in each nostril 10 times.

SPD Scientific imports millions of kits from South Korea every week and has increased the number of staff and service providers in its sales, operations and logistics units by 30 per cent since June.

Its group chief executive, Ms Myra Chung, said: "It hasn't been easy to step up new employment expeditiously in such a short period of time. To support the Covid-19 national strategy, our entire team, including our service providers, have been working long hours to fulfil the home kit requirements in the past two months."

SPH Brightcove Video
As testing for Covid-19 becomes part of the new normal in Singapore, DIY test kits will be sold at pharmacies from June 16. ST journalist Timothy Goh tries out the Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-test, to see how easy it is to use.

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