Due to a Covid-19 cluster outbreak, Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre was closed for three days and reopened yesterday (30 Sep). To better safeguard the wellbeing of the workers, Covid-19 testing has been ramped up and made more frequent, from once every 2 weeks to once a week.
Wearing of coloured wristbands to prevent crossing between sectors
The tenants and workers entering the centre also have to wear coloured wristbands which denote the respective sectors that they are working in. This is to prevent workers from crossing sectors unnecessarily, thus reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission between them.
A limited number of workers from each sector are allowed to enter the coldroom. These workers have to be tested twice a week and have negative results before they are allowed to enter.
Some disruptions to Singapore’s fruit and vegetable supply
As Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre manages about 30 and 50 per cent of Singapore’s fruit and vegetable imports respectively, some temporary disruptions to the supply are to be expected.
To minimise panic and to give time to the centre to recover operations, the public may wish to shop at other places for the time being. Places like NTUC FairPrice have rammed up preparations and ensured that their supplies are enough.
In his Facebook post, Labour MP and CEO of NTUC FairPrice Seah Kian Peng assured everyone that there’s sufficient supply of fruits and vegetables to meet demand. He also reminded customers to only buy what they need.
Singapore is ramping up its cold chain ecosystem
After noticing a trend that more people are buying frozen food during the pandemic, the Singapore Standards Council have launched new standards for storing and transporting chilled and frozen food. The new standards will improve the management of chilled and frozen food, such as pre-packaged food, meat, vegetables and eggs.
Director of food safety and quality at NTUC FairPrice, Ms Chong Nyet Chin said the new standards are welcomed. It will also contribute to FairPrice’s sustainability goals by reducing food wastage and provide fresh and quality food to Singaporeans.
Things will hopefully be back to normal soon
With the various measures in place to protect the workers, it is likely that things will return to normal soon at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre. As the whole Singapore contributes during the Stabilisation Phase and minimises social interactions, we are likely to see a more resilient healthcare system and lower Covid-19 cases in due time.