Singapore

Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre to be closed for three days

Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre will be closed from today to Wednesday for cleaning and disinfection after Covid-19 cases were detected among workers and visitors.

The wholesale centre was identified as a cluster by the Ministry of Health (MOH) last night, with 64 cases to date, two of them added yesterday.

The ministry said transmission of the virus occurred among workers and trade visitors.

Of the 64 cases, 59 are workers at the market, three are trade visitors and two are household members of cases.

The new cases have already been quarantined.

The temporary closure is expected to disrupt the supply of fruit and vegetables as the centre handles about 30 per cent of Singapore's fruit imports and 50 per cent of vegetable imports, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said yesterday.

The disruption is expected to be short as fruit and vegetable stalls at wet markets are usually closed on Mondays, the agency added.

The centre will reopen on Thursday.

In a Facebook post, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu urged the public not to rush out to buy fruit and vegetables during this period.

"Please buy only what you need so that there is ample supply for everyone," she said.

IMPACT

She added that the SFA is working closely with stakeholders, such as fruit and vegetable associations, affected merchants, as well as importers and retailers, to minimise the impact.

Major supermarkets are also making efforts to increase their stocks of fruit and vegetables. After the centre reopens, the SFA will increase the frequency of testing for workers from every 14 days to seven days.

All visitors and tenants will be tested before they are allowed to return to the centre. - THE STRAITS TIMES

coronavirus