However, as welcoming as the donation was, Ms Seah underlined in a Facebook post the economic difficulties fishmongers are facing, which are only bound to worsen due to the current clusters of Covid-19 infections among fresh fish and seafood stallholders.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Jul 17 (Saturday) that clusters had been uncovered among fishmongers who visited the Jurong Fishery Port to collect their stock and sell at the markets.
The following morning, MOH added that stallholders of fresh fish and seafood at markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators have been disallowed from operating in order to curb the spread of infections. Furthermore, the stallholders will be retired to be swab-tested for Covid, and until their tests come back negative, they will not be allowed to leave their homes.
Therefore, Ms Seah expressed the hope that “consideration and compensation will be accorded to the fishmongers who have been and will be financially impacted as a result of this latest development.”
Ms Seah had gone to East Coast families on Saturday morning (Jul 17) along with fellow WP politicians Kenneth Foo and Terence Tan to distribute food.
“We received a generous donation of more than 60kg of freshly caught and homegrown tilapia from local urban farm and EC resident OnHand Agrarian, who also runs a business selling monthly seafood subscription boxes.”, Ms Seah wrote, adding that she herself has also subscribed to OnHand Agrarian and “was thrilled to come home to 10kg of fresh produce and vegetables later that day.”
The residents, she wrote, were pleased to receive the donation of tilapia, which Ms Seah called “A rare and nutritious treat amidst tough times.”
Residents told the WP team how they would prepare the fish.
“One resident excitedly talked about the kunyit rempah she was going to make to goreng the fish in. Another resident astutely pointed out that tilapia was a red skinned fish and would go nicely with some assam gravy,” Ms Seah wrote.
She thanked the party’s volunteers for aiding their efforts, writing, “We are powered by volunteers and incredibly grateful for their quiet and sustained efforts to serve EC residents.”
Ms Grace Fu, the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday night (Jul 18) that the Jurong Fishery Port will be closed from 17 until July 31, and warned that there “may be temporary disruptions to the supply of chilled seafood.”
She added, however, that grocery stores still have stocks of frozen seafood and that people have no need to “rush to purchase seafood.”
The Minister called the disruption of supply a temporary one, and urged the public to “ play our part by being open to switching our food choices and trying different types of food!”
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