SINGAPORE – The nationwide distribution of antigen rapid test (ART) kits got off to a good start on Friday (Oct 22) morning.
At a housing block in Compassvale Crescent, Ms Shirley Chee Bee Leng went around with a trolley stacked with 140 packages, each containing 10 kits.
The 53-year-old was one of 1,000 SingPost employees tasked with delivering the kits to households islandwide, in the second distribution exercise of its kind.
As an employee neighbourhood postman with SingPost, she has flexible hours and can choose what task to carry out first.
She chose to deliver the ART kits as her first task of the day as the distribution exercise is a priority for her.
Ms Chee, a mother of three, said: “I do this first (before regular mail) because it is important. Not every Housing Board flat has a doctor downstairs, so it’s good to have kits at home.”
The distribution exercise, which will last until Dec 7, comes as Singapore continues to see daily new Covid-19 cases by the thousand.
The Ministry of Health, which is giving out the kits to 1.54 million households via SingPost, said in August that with the Republic transitioning to being a Covid-19 resilient nation, Singaporeans will play an increasingly important role in managing the pandemic.
It said a key aspect is for people to exercise personal responsibility – “to self-test and monitor our own health status”.
From Friday, every Singapore household will receive the SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 Ag Home Test, which consists of two boxes of five ART kits.
Each package will have a label with a unique tracking number assigned to it.
This means that those who have downloaded the SingPost app and linked their accounts to Singpass will receive a notification when their ART kits have been delivered.
The postmen, on their part, will take a photograph as proof of delivery after they have placed the tracked package into the letter box.
Ms Alicia Lee, a resident of the Compassvale block, said the kits will come in handy should anyone in her family feel unwell.
The 29-year-old civil servant, who has a six-month-old baby boy, tested herself with her own ART kit recently.
She had developed a mild fever and was concerned for her child’s safety. Fortunately, her test result was negative.
For Madam Lillian Lee, 76, another resident of the block, the new kits are timely as she has used up the six kits given out in the earlier distribution exercise conducted between August and September.
The retired cashier, who lives with two adult sons who are in their late 30s, said: “One of my sons is a Grab driver and the other runs his own business, so they take the tests quite often before going to work.”