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Long queues of preschool staff for Covid-19 tests: Poor planning or scheduling issue?

Those online worry about new clusters forming, suggest tests at CCs or PHP Clinics

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Singapore – A video circulating online of queues at the Khatib MRT Station of preschool staff waiting for the bus service to take them to their Covid-19 tests is drawing comments about the poor planning involved.

On Friday (May 15), Facebook page All Singapore Stuff had a video of what appeared to about 200 preschool employees queueing for the bus to take them to a facility for their Covid-19 swab tests. It had the caption: “Alamak, how come plan until liddat?”

According to a post by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on the same day, around 30,000 preschool and early intervention staff are getting a one-time swab test for the virus from May 15 to 26. It said: “The proactive testing is part of our stepped-up monitoring to provide assurance to preschool staff and families to support the phased opening up of general services in the preschool sector.”

There are four designated pickup points for shuttle services to transport the staff to the swabbing centres: Woodlands, Tampines West, Dover and Khatib MRT Station.

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However, “a scheduling issue arose for one of the preschool operators”, explained MSF. It added that some staff arrived hours ahead of their scheduled slots, which led to long queues. The ministry encouraged the staff to come only at their assigned appointment slots. “There is no need to arrive much earlier.”

Members of the online community responded that the whole initiative had “poor planning” and provided suggestions on how things could have been handled.

One person said there was “no system at all” and others said it would have been better to do the tests at the CCs. This would not have required long journeys and would have reduced the risk of new clusters forming.

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Another person said that the tests could have been done at Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) clinics throughout the island.

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Others tagged key Government leaders such as Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and asked them to “look into the matter” to avoid unwanted new clusters.

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Photo: FB screengrab / All Singapore Stuff

Meanwhile, Mr Jason Wilson, a Singapore permanent resident from the US, commented that he had always marvelled at the efficiency and prudent planning of the government but that “this is a disaster”.

Photo: FB screengrab/All Singapore Stuff

Preschool staffs queuing to get tested for Covid19

<Reader's Contribution by Ng>Apparently these are preschool staffs waiting for bus to send them for Covid19 test. Alamak how come plan until liddat? Looks like long queues under hot weather

Posted by All Singapore Stuff on Thursday, 14 May 2020

You may have seen videos of queues of preschool staff at Khatib MRT waiting to be taken for their precautionary COVID-19…

Posted by MSF Singapore on Friday, 15 May 2020

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