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Written reply to PQs on COVID-19 antigen test kits and plans to increase local manufacturing capabilities

Written reply to PQs on COVID-19 antigen test kits and plans to increase local manufacturing capabilities

Questions

Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) over the past three months, what is the monthly consumption of COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) kits in Singapore; (b) what proportion of ART kits are domestically manufactured; and (c) given the current key role of ART testing in the community and at many workplaces, what measures are being taken to ensure supply chain resilience for ART kits.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Ministry is monitoring the market for inflation and profiteering due to increased demand for antigen rapid test kits; (b) what are the Ministry’s strategies to ensure a reliable and affordable local supply of test kits to meet demand; and (c) whether there are plans to ramp up manufacturing capabilities in Singapore to produce our own supply of test kits.

Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong

1. Antigen Rapid Tests (ARTs) are an essential tool in our safe transition to a COVID-resilient nation. Over the past three months, around 83 million ART kits have been distributed or sold in Singapore. These include the ART kits that MOH has distributed to households and companies, free kits for those who have received Health Risk Warnings, and those sold in retail outlets and on e-commerce platforms.

2. MTI works closely with retailers, manufacturers and distributors to ensure a reliable supply and healthy stock of ART kits in Singapore. Today, there are eight ART self-test kits approved by Health Sciences Authority for sale at major retailers and e-commerce platforms, and an additional two locally-manufactured ART kits for use within a clinical setting with professional guidance. The availability of more options for retail and professional use will keep the prices of ART kits competitive. To date, MTI has not received reports of businesses profiteering from the sale of ART kits.

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