Coronavirus: Singapore

Queues continue on last day of Covid-19 self-test kit collection

Assurance and peace of mind among reasons given by residents picking up the free antigen rapid test kits

A resident collecting free antigen rapid test kits at Block 5 Haig Road in Geylang yesterday. The Ministry of Health worked with the People's Association to distribute the self-test kits as an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify Covid-19 cas
A resident collecting free antigen rapid test kits at Block 5 Haig Road in Geylang yesterday. The Ministry of Health worked with the People’s Association to distribute the self-test kits as an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify Covid-19 cases and prevent further transmission of the disease.ST PHOTOS: JASON QUAH
A resident collecting free antigen rapid test kits at Block 5 Haig Road in Geylang yesterday. The Ministry of Health worked with the People's Association to distribute the self-test kits as an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify Covid-19 cas
People queueing for antigen rapid test kits at Block 5 Haig Road yesterday. The self-test kits are for individuals who had visited four markets and food centres in the past 14 days – Cheng San Market and Cooked Food Centre, Chong Boon Market and Food Centre, Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre and Haig Road Market and Food Centre – and for residents living in the vicinity of these places.

Queues for free antigen rapid test kits continued to form at several venues across Singapore on the last day of collection yesterday.

The self-test kits are meant for individuals who had visited four markets and food centres in the past 14 days - Cheng San Market and Cooked Food Centre, Chong Boon Market and Food Centre, Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre and Haig Road Market and Food Centre.

They include residents living in the vicinity of these places.

Distribution of the test kits had started on Tuesday at 22 community centres and residents' committee (RC) centres.

The Straits Times understands that the centres were scheduled to close at 6pm yesterday.

A queue of about 20 people had formed at Geylang Serai RC centre at about 10am yesterday when ST was at the venue. The process was quick, with individuals taking about five minutes to collect their test kits.

Resident Kolin Sim, 49, said that her neighbour had informed her about the collection.

Ms Sim, who has received her first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, said she had not been to the nearby Haig Road Market and Food Centre for several months. "But I still feel a little worried," said the freelance music teacher, who added that she passes by the place regularly on her way to the bus stop.

Covid-19 cases linked to the market and food centre had recently been detected.

Another resident, who wished to be known only as Mr Raju, said he visited the market two days ago but feels fine. The 76-year-old is fully vaccinated.

A resident who identified himself as Mr Guan said he was collecting the kits for "peace of mind", adding that his wife visits the market every two weeks.

"We have to learn how to live with this," said the 48-year-old, who added that he works in a managerial position but declined to elaborate on his occupation.

There was a 10-person queue at Geylang East Grove RC centre when ST arrived there at about 2.30pm yesterday.

Entrepreneur Bryan Se To, whose technology company is located in the area, collected seven test kits on behalf of his family. The 26-year-old said his parents, who are waiting for their second Covid-19 jab, are reluctant to leave their home, owing to the recent increase in coronavirus infections.

"For them to be able to (administer the test) at home safely - it really gives them a lot of assurance," he said.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) had said on Monday that it was working with the People's Association to distribute the test kits as an added layer of ring-fencing to help identify Covid-19 cases and prevent further transmission of the disease.

The distribution of the test kits comes amid a recent spike in infections here, the majority of them linked to markets and food centres.

MOH said that these infections were likely to have been seeded by fishmongers and stallholders who had visited the Jurong Fishery Port, a large and growing cluster.

• Additional reporting by Jason Quah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'Queues continue on last day of Covid-19 self-test kit collection'. Subscribe