S'pore authorities looking into 2 Covid-19 cases in marine sector that possibly breached safety measures

More than 20,000 marine sector employees will undergo additional Covid-19 tests.

Jason Fan | January 03, 2021, 09:18 PM

Singapore authorities are currently investigating whether a marine surveyor and a marine service engineer who recently tested for Covid-19 infection had breached safe management measures at work.

The marine surveyor, who worked at Lloyd's Register Singapore, tested positive for Covid-19 on Dec. 29, while the marine service engineer, who worked at Master Systems Marine, tested positive on Nov. 26.

The former is related to a Raffles Girls' School student who recently tested positive for Covid-19, while the latter was part of the group of 12 who dined at the Seoul Garden outlet at Tampines Mall on Nov. 21.

Action has been taken against the two companies involved

Preliminary investigations reveal that the two employees consumed food provided by or with the crew onboard the ships, which was against precautionary measures, according to a joint media release on Saturday (Jan. 2) by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The various agencies said that they take a serious view of non-compliance with Covid-19 safe management measures, and that they will not hesitate to take firm action against the errant companies and individuals.

For the case involving the marine service engineer, MPA has stopped the company, Master Systems Marine Pte Ltd, from sending any of its personnel to work onboard ships.

This will continue until the company can demonstrate that its employees will adhere to safe management measures onboard ships.

For the case involving the marine surveyor, Lloyd's Register Singapore Pte Ltd has suspended all its shipboard survey and audit activities.

In addition, the company will be testing all its marine surveyors for Covid-19.

According to the various agencies, further actions may be taken against the companies and individuals after investigations have been completed.

Testing regime will be tightened

In light of the two recent cases, MPA will tighten the testing regime for all shore-based personnel going onboard ships.

All shore-based personnel going onboard ships will need to take a Covid-19 PCR test within the next seven days, between Jan. 2 to 8, to give assurance that they are clear of Covid-19.

This will cover more than 20,000 personnel.

They will also be subject to a stricter Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) regime, being tested every seven days instead of 14 days previously.

Those who do not adhere to the RRT regime will not be allowed to board ships to work.

In addition, as announced by MOH on Dec. 31, 2020, there will be a special testing operation to test all workers who had boarded the ships that the marine surveyor and harbour pilot, who tested positive for Covid-19 infection, had recently worked on.

The various agencies will be stepping up checks to ensure compliance of Covid-19 safe management measures by companies and individuals, and those who are found to have violated these measures will be taken to task.

Top image via Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore/FB.