SINGAPORE - All drivers, stallholders and food delivery personnel who have participated in voluntary testing exercises have tested negative for Covid-19 so far, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Wednesday (Sept 23).
This includes the more than 10,000 taxi and private-hire car drivers, as well as the more than 750 stallholders and food delivery personnel, who were tested earlier this month.
"This is a good sign as it indicates very low prevalence in our community," said Mr Gan during a virtual press conference.
"It is also an indication that our safe distancing and safe management measures, coupled with the use of face masks and heightened vigilance on everyone's part, are powerful and effective weapons in our fight against Covid-19."
Voluntary testing operations for taxi and private-hire car drivers took place from Sept 8 to 22. More than 10,000 drivers were tested over that period.
And last weekend, between Sept 19 and 20, more than 750 stallholders and food delivery personnel were also tested at Marine Parade as part of a pilot for voluntary Covid-19 tests for such personnel in the constituency.
The testing operations were conducted at temporary swab sites in the community, such as at taxi depots, as well as at the Health Promotion Board's regional screening centres.
During the press conference, Mr Gan thanked those who stepped forward for the voluntary tests.
"Next, we will be considering extending the testing to other hawker centres, markets, coffee shops, as well as other groups, such as university students in hostels," he added.
Details on the roll-out of Covid-19 testing for stallholders and food delivery personnel will be made known when ready, said the Health Ministry (MOH) in a statement on Wednesday.
The tests are part of a larger initiative that the MOH announced on Aug 29, which involves offering one-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to community groups that have high-frequency interactions with members of the public.
They include taxi and private-hire car drivers, food delivery personnel and key vendors servicing foreign worker dormitories.
It also said that the tests are being carried out to provide a better picture of the prevalence of the virus in the population at large.
Mr Gan noted that overall, the Covid-19 situation in Singapore is stable, but he urged Singaporeans not to let their guard down.
"I thank everyone for taking these measures seriously," he said, referring the wearing of masks and other safe management measures.
"I know it is tough, and sometimes quite tiring... Each precaution we take, however small it may seem, is the key to keeping our families, our friends and fellow Singaporeans safe."