SFA Closes Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre for 3 Days After Covid-19 Cases Detected There
As Covid-19 cases surge in Singapore, we have seen numerous markets and hawker centres temporarily close to curb the spread of infections.
On Sunday (26 Sep), Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced that authorities had detected Covid-19 cases at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre.
The wholesale centre will be closed from 27-30 Sep for deep cleaning and disinfection.
As a sizable percentage of Singapore’s fruits and vegetable imports are handled at the centre, SFA expects some disruption to our supply for a short period.
Covid-19 cases detected at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre
According to SFA, the wholesale centre will close for 3 days after Covid-19 cases were detected amongst staff and visitors.
The premises will undergo deep cleaning from Monday (27 Sep) at 3pm and reopen on Thursday (30 Sep) at 3pm.
SFA assured that Safe Management Measures (SMM) at the centre would be enhanced prior to the reopening.
All workers at the centre will also undergo frequent testing, from a 14-day to a 7-day regime.
On-arrival testing for trade visitors will continue to be mandatory. All tenants and workers will also be tested before their return.
Some disruption to fruit and vegetable supply expected
According to SFA, about 30% of Singapore’s fruits and 50% of vegetable imports are handled at the wholesale entre.
The 3-day closure is expected to cause some disruption to the nation’s fruits and vegetable supply.
Thankfully, this will only be for a very short period as fruits and vegetable stalls at wet markets typically close on Mondays.
SFA assures that they are working closely with stakeholders like fruits and vegetables associations, affected merchants, importers, and retailers to minimise the impact on our food supply.
The agency added that major supermarkets are working on increasing their stocks of fruits and vegetables.
SFA emphasises that food supply remains stable
SFA urges the public not to rush to purchase fruits and vegetables during this period and to only buy what they need.
Grace Fu, who is Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, reiterated this in a Facebook post on Sunday (26 Sep).
Currently, Singapore imports food from over 170 countries and regions.
This multi-pronged strategy that includes import diversification, growing overseas, and local production has better ensured the resilience of our food supply.
SFA emphasised that while there might be temporary disruptions, Singapore’s food supply remains stable.
They also remind the public to continue to adhere to SMMs and maintain good personal hygiene when visiting wet markets, hawker centres, and coffee shops.
No need to panic buy
The closure of the wholesale centre will cause certain inconveniences and disruptions.
But it is also a necessary move, especially now that we’ve seen how wholesale places can become a breeding ground for large clusters.
In the meantime, rest assured that Singapore still has an ample supply of food so there’s no need to panic buy.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps.