DIY Covid-19 test kits to be tested at construction sites, Singapore News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – To further reduce the risk of transmission on construction sites, the use of rapid antigen tests (ART) will now be piloted on construction sites for those who do not live in dormitories.
These tests, which will typically be performed once every three days, will be administered by workers using do-it-yourself Covid-19 test kits, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announced on Monday (May 31).
This is in addition to the routine Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) list tests these workers continue to be required to undergo.
Currently, all individuals on construction sites, vaccinated or not, must be tested once every seven days or once every 14 days, depending on their level of risk, for example if they stay in dormitories.
In a circular, the BCA said each employer will appoint trained staff as supervisors to ensure proper infection prevention controls and the correct use of test kits.
Some sites will also designate and train specific staff who will administer the samples for their colleagues, the BCA added.
The decision to test such self-administered tests in the workplace comes after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced Monday that do-it-yourself Covid-19 test kits will soon be available in pharmacies here. .
These tests, which are simple to use, can be administered by frontline workers on their own, if they wish to test themselves frequently or even daily, Premier Lee said.
PCR tests are the most accurate, but usually take a day or two for the results to be known. The less accurate ART returns results in about 30 minutes and is widely used for pre-event testing.
The pilot use of such an antiretroviral treatment on construction sites is supervised by the BCA, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
In its circular, the BCA said it is currently engaging work sites on the pilot initiative and that more work sites will be gradually included as Singapore increases its offer of rapid antigen testing.
More details on the testing requirements and implementation will be provided when they are ready, including the necessary training and preparation, the BCA added.
The health ministry said on Monday it would further expand the use of ART, with pilot projects in student hostels at autonomous universities. It will also work with CapitaLand to run pilot projects in one or two selected shopping centers for tenants and the people who work there.
Those whose rapid test returns a positive result will need to take a PCR swab test and send home to a public health preparation clinic or regional testing center to confirm if they have Covid-19. They must self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.