Singapore begins antigen rapid tests on foreign workers for checking COVID-19: report

Gurdip Singh
·2-min read

Singapore, Oct 25 (PTI) Singapore has begun the use of advanced antigen rapid test for quicker detection of the contagious coronavirus cases among the migrant workers in the country, a media report said on Sunday.

The antigen test, which is currently being conducted as a pilot project after being launched on October 18, can give results within half an hour despite being less accurate as compared to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests which take at least a day, Channel News Asia reported.

“Migrant workers are currently tested every two weeks using PCR tests,” the report said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Manpower.

Migrant workers on work visa constitute the majority of the coronavirus cases in Singapore that currently stands at 57,970. The total number of coronavirus related deaths in the country stands at 28.

'Antigen tests can return results within half an hour despite being less accurate, as compared to PCR tests which take at least a day. A total of 1,000 migrant workers are involved in the pilot project,” the report said.

According to the ministry, the migrant workers who test positive can be isolated immediately and conveyed to a medical facility for a confirmatory PCR test.

“This reduces the risk of infection transmission to fellow residents. This will also result in fewer close contacts who will need to be quarantined, thus minimising work disruptions for both workers and employers,” the ministry said in the statement.

MOM said the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group, in consultation with the Ministry of Health will evaluate the effectiveness of the rapid test pilot and assess its suitability to be incorporated into the rostered routine testing.

Workers staying in dormitories, those in the construction, marine and process sectors, and all those who go into work sites are required to undergo rostered routine testing for COVID-19 every 14 days.

Earlier this month, it was announced that more COVID-19 regional screening centres and testing facilities in dormitories would be set up to facilitate rostered routine testing. PTI GS RUP RUP RUP