Written Answer to PQ by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng on Frequency of Rostered Routine Testing for Workers Differentiated Based on COVID-19 Vaccination Status
NOTICE PAPER NO. 718 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 OCTOBER 2021
QUESTION NO. 1792 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER NOT ANSWERED BY END OF QUESTION TIME
MP: Mr Abdul Samad
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the frequency of rostered routine testing for workers can be differentiated based on COVID-19 vaccination status.
As we resume more activities, Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) remains a critical part of our surveillance strategy in mitigating COVID-19 transmission risks, even for vaccinated workers. More regular testing will help us to detect and isolate COVID-19 positive cases more quickly. This is especially given the infectiousness of the Delta variant, as observed locally where there have been shorter periods between each generation of infection.
A vaccination differentiated RRT regime has been progressively introduced for the Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sectors and in dormitories since end August in preparation for the "Vaccinate or Regular Test" (VoRT) regime. The frequency of testing is guided by MOH’s framework for the VoRT regime. Since 13 September, unvaccinated workers undergo testing at a higher frequency as compared to vaccinated workers. For example, a vaccinated worker working in the process sector or living in a dormitory will be required to undergo a weekly test. On the other hand, unvaccinated workers living in dormitories will undergo additional ARTs at Day 3 and Day 11 on top of the baseline regime for vaccinated workers.
We will work with MOH to continue to review the testing regimes for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers, as well as explore further differentiating it for vaccinated recovered workers based on the latest scientific evidence and as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We understand that employers and workers are making great efforts and contributions towards regular testing of their vaccinated workers. We appreciate their efforts in helping all of us transit to a COVID resilient nation.