Coronavirus Singapore

Most Jurong Fishery Port tenants and workers vaccinated

80 per cent have had both doses; stallholders who have returned have tested negative

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu (above), who visited the Jurong Fishery Port together with Minister of State Desmond Tan, said tenants of the port were progressively opening their stalls and adapting to the enhanced safe mana
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu (above), who visited the Jurong Fishery Port together with Minister of State Desmond Tan, said tenants of the port were progressively opening their stalls and adapting to the enhanced safe management measures that were put in place for its reopening. Stricter safe management measures are now enforced at Jurong Fishery Port. The port reopened at 3pm on July 31 after being closed for two weeks, during which it underwent two rounds of deep cleaning of the entire site. It handles about 30 per cent of the country's seafood imports, including those that arrive by land and air.PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu (above), who visited the Jurong Fishery Port together with Minister of State Desmond Tan, said tenants of the port were progressively opening their stalls and adapting to the enhanced safe mana
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu (above), who visited the Jurong Fishery Port together with Minister of State Desmond Tan, said tenants of the port were progressively opening their stalls and adapting to the enhanced safe management measures that were put in place for its reopening. Stricter safe management measures are now enforced at Jurong Fishery Port. The port reopened at 3pm on July 31 after being closed for two weeks, during which it underwent two rounds of deep cleaning of the entire site. It handles about 30 per cent of the country's seafood imports, including those that arrive by land and air.PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Around 80 per cent of tenants and workers at Jurong Fishery Port are fully vaccinated, with 88 per cent having received at least one dose, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu yesterday.

During a visit to the port in the morning, she said: "All the stallholders who are back have been tested negative, and they have been put on routine regular testing of seven days, and all trade visitors, similarly, have been tested negative before they're allowed to come in."

The wholesale market at Jurong Fishery Port is the centre of the largest active Covid-19 cluster here with 1,097 cases as at yesterday. The outbreak led to cases emerging in 43 markets and food centres around Singapore.

Ms Fu, who visited the port together with Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan, said tenants of the port were progressively opening their stalls and adapting to the enhanced safe management measures that were put in place for its reopening.

The port reopened at 3pm on July 31, after being closed for two weeks, during which it underwent two rounds of deep cleaning of the entire site.

Even after its reopening, seafood sellers in wet markets saw few customers yesterday. The prices of most common seafood like red snapper and grey prawns have also not increased.

Mr Tay Hock Seng, 51, who operates a seafood stall at Teck Ghee Market and Food Centre, said of his poor business: "Most of our customers are elderly, and their family members told them not to come out often during this period.

"Because of the barriers and crowd control, people are also less willing to enter the market."

The surge in cases linked to Jurong Fishery Port has put off many patrons, who make little distinction between those who get their supplies from the port and those from Senoko Fishery Port, which was not affected.

For instance, Mr Tay gets his produce from Senoko but has still seen a 70 per cent drop in the number of customers buying seafood from him.

Apart from white pomfret, which has increased from $11 per kg to $14 per kg, the prices for the rest of his seafood have not changed since Jurong Fishery Port was closed two weeks ago.

He said: "I don't want to increase the price of my seafood since everyone is having a difficult time now. Some of them are jobless."

In the same market is Mr Tan Ah Yee, 76, who also chose not to increase the prices of his seafood despite the hard times now befalling him.

Mr Tan, who has operated his stall for 40 years, continues to sell sea bass at $20 per kg, red snapper at $18 per kg and squid at $12 per kg.

He said: "I have customers who have purchased from me for many years; how can I increase the prices for them? I would rather cover the cost and earn less than increase the prices."

At Chong Boon market in Ang Mo Kio, Mr Tan Seng Hoon, 60, likewise did not see a need to adjust his prices.

He did not have supplies for red snapper, but was well stocked for other common seafood. He sold white pomfret at $13 per kg, sea bass at $10 per kg, and grey prawns and squid at $16 per kg.

Prices of seafood at bigger supermarkets have also stayed the same. Giant, for instance, has kept the prices of everyday essentials like seafood constant since last September, and will maintain this till the end of the year. Sea bass was sold at $8 for two, and vannamei prawns were sold at $10 per kg.

Workers returning to the Jurong Fishery Port on Monday night were greeted by unfamiliar scenes, with much stricter safe management measures now enforced and workers requiring an orange band to get into the premises.

The port handles about 30 per cent of the country's seafood imports, including those that arrive by land and air.

Even frozen seafood sellers like Mr Mike Ong, who owns a stall at Tanjong Pagar market, have not seen an increase in their business in the last two weeks.

"I used to get about five to six people who buy from me every day, but now I'll be lucky to get even one," he said. "A lot of people have been put off wet market seafood because of what happened."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2021, with the headline 'Most Jurong Fishery Port tenants and workers vaccinated'. Subscribe