More testing and measures at Changi Airport as Covid-19 cluster grows

SINGAPORE – About 8,000 office workers at Changi Airport’s passenger terminal buildings will be tested over the next few days as part of an ongoing special testing operation to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The move comes as Changi Airport is now the largest active Covid-19 cluster here, with a total of 59 cases as at Friday (May 14).

In a statement on Saturday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said almost 10,000 airport workers have been tested since the operation started on May 9, of which 35 have tested positive for the virus.

However, none of these workers are in serious condition.

Subsequently, all airport workers in higher-risk roles will be placed on a seven-day rostered routine testing cycle, regardless of their vaccination status. This is a step-up from the current 14-day cycle.

CAAS added that many of the cases had eaten at outlets at Terminal 3 Basement 2, which has been closed since May 10 for cleaning and disinfection. This has now been completed for Kopitiam and a FairPrice supermarket there, and a thorough review of the outlets’ hygiene practices and safe management measures is in progress.

Cleaning and disinfection are also ongoing at Jewel, and such operations will be extended to the transit areas where airport workers were suspected to have been infected.

There will also be further segregation, with flights arriving from high-risk areas to be assigned a pier different from that used by flights from low-risk areas.

Passengers arriving from these flights will be using a different arrival immigration hall, baggage belts and toilets from those arriving from lower-risk areas.

In addition, passengers arriving on flights from very high-risk areas will be escorted throughout their journey through the airport and have their on-arrival Covid-19 testing done at separate health screening stations.

Members of the public who had visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 from May 1 will be offered free Covid-19 testing and are strongly encouraged to take the test.

The Ministry of Health will progressively inform these individuals via SMS notification with information on how to book an appointment for the test.

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CAAS said: “In our ongoing fight against Covid-19, we have called upon the airport community to do their part to help contain the spread of the virus.

“Airport workers have been reminded to exercise social responsibility, minimise social interactions, and are encouraged to get vaccinated and tested to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“We recognise the contributions, dedication and sacrifices that the men and women of the airport community have given to keep our airport safe, while ensuring that Singapore remains connected to the world.”

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