Lest you’ve forgotten, it’s the last month of the year and the birth month of the coronavirus, and it hasn’t started well.
Today (1 December 2020), as of 12pm, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 infection.
8 of them are imported cases. 1 is a community case and the other is a dorm case. More details about the 2 local cases will only be revealed later tonight.
This brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 58,228.
And if your goal for 2020 is to go through a swab test, you can do so now even if you’re healthy, as long as you have $200 to spare.
From Today (1 Dec), Anyone Can Take a COVID-19 Test for About $200
Whether it’s for travel, to visit a KTV outlet next year, or because you like things in your nose, you can now take a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for about $200.
While companies still need approval from the Ministry of Health (MOH), individuals do not, and are free to take a test from approved private clinics.
The cost of the test will not be subsidised, though.
Previously, you had to either be unwell or meet specific testing requirements, such as pre-departure and pre-event testing.
So, why the change now?
Expanded Testing Availability Needed For Phase 3
Remember Education Minister Lawrence Wong’s three conditions for Phase 3?
If we want to move on to the next phase of our safe reopening, we need a higher TraceTogether uptake, compliance with safe management measures, and better testing capabilities.
When it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic, identifying and isolating Covid-19 cases as early as possible is the name of the game.
As we shift to Phase 3, and resume more economic and community activities, the number of community cases is bound to rise.
As our Education Minister and lover of light-coloured t-shirts said: “We have to be mentally prepared for that and be ready to ensure that even if the local cases in the community were to rise, they do not form large clusters that are out of control.”
“The key to doing that is to step up our testing capabilities, which we are doing and now we are making testing more accessible to everyone,” he said.
The number of cases in the community is low at the moment, but once we shift to Phase 3, the authorities expect this number to go up to 20 or even 30 cases a day.
With larger gatherings of eight people and potential increases in capacity limits in public venues, enhanced testing capabilities will be crucial for our battle against Covid-19.
PCR Test Available at 600 Private Clinics
As you know, while results for PCR tests take longer to yield than Antigen rapid tests (ART), they are still the most accurate tests available today.
Currently, 600 private clinics provide PCR tests for Covid-19.
The list of approved testing partners can be found here.
You will have to call ahead of time to book an appointment for your swab test, of course.
Featured Image: kandl stock / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)