Safety measures stepped up at fishery ports

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will be enhancing Covid-19 measures at Senoko and Jurong fishery ports in the wake of an outbreak of cases at the latter.

With 932 infections linked to it as at yesterday, Jurong Fishery Port has the largest active Covid-19 cluster in Singapore.

The measures will be enhanced at three main areas of the ports - the entrance, marketplace and the unloading area. They have taken effect at Senoko Fishery Port and will apply to Jurong Fishery Port when it reopens on Saturday.

ENTRANCE

All authorised entry pass holders - consisting mainly of tenants, workers and traders - will be required to be tested for Covid-19 before entry into the ports. Thereafter, they will be placed under a seven-day rostered routine testing regime.

Those who are not tested or do not have a negative test result will not be allowed to enter the fishery ports.

These measures come on top of the temperature checks and TraceTogether SafeEntry that have been in place for entry pass holders since March last year.

Foreign delivery drivers will not be allowed to alight from their vehicles for SafeEntry check-in and temperature taking so as to reduce mingling with others. These drivers have been subject to Covid-19 testing at the checkpoints prior to entry since March last year.

MARKETPLACE

Access into the marketplace area will be restricted, including limiting the number of seafood traders within the premises at any time.

Tenants and workers will be segregated into groups and should not mingle. They will have separate toilet facilities as well as meal and smoking areas to reduce intermingling.

There will also be increased surveillance of safe management measures, said SFA, adding that firm enforcement action will be taken against those who flout the rules.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said in Parliament on Monday that the Jurong Fishery Port outbreak is likely to have been caused by workers mingling and not wearing masks.

She added that contactless delivery measures were also not strictly followed.

UNLOADING AREA

Before the cluster emerged at Jurong Fishery Port, port workers and foreign boat crew could interact during the unloading of goods at the wharf.

Under the new measures, port workers will need to keep their distance from the foreign crew as they unload the goods. They can pick up the goods only after the crew moves away from the unloading area.

All workers will need to follow a hand sanitation regime and must wear their masks and gloves when they pick up the goods.

All unloading activities will be supervised by safe distancing ambassadors and monitored on closed-circuit television.

Since the temporary closure of Jurong Fishery Port, SFA said it had conducted two rounds of deep cleaning of the entire site, including disinfecting the tenants' offices. It will continue to clean common areas and crates when the port reopens, it said.

To limit interaction with foreign fishing crew, dedicated workers will operate forklifts or cranes within the wharf area to move seafood from the vessels to the gates for collection by port workers.

SFA added that it will be working with the trade associations to refine the enhanced measures and adapt them if necessary to the unique working conditions of Singapore's fishery ports.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2021, with the headline 'Safety measures stepped up at fishery ports'. Subscribe