How may COVID-19 Test are done daily in Singapore? 3000 or 8000?



3000 or 8000 test per day?



There is some confusion on how many COVID19 tests are done daily.

Yesterday, during the press conference, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had decided to clear the air.



These are the following presented base on the press conference in chronological order

1 The testing capacity of migrant workers is about 3000 per day

2 Capacity has not been reduced but increased. Rate of testing has not slowed down.

3 Total of 21,000 workers tested

4 1 in 15 migrant workers tested

5 We have a higher testing rate in Migrant workers vs Korea, US, UK, HK on a whole.

6 Every positive test is added to daily count

7 Prioritise testing of migrant workers in essential services

8 Actively testing in dormitories with new cases

9 Dormitories where the assessed rate of infection is extremely high, efforts are focus on isolating those who are symptomatic even without test

10 At National Level, Singapore has increase capacity to test from 2900 cases per day to 8000 per day

The full press interview can be followed here




To sum it up, the facts are as follow

8000 tests per day refer to the capacity of the nation to test per day, it does not refer to the number of FW per day
The capacity of testing of FW is at 3000 as per Minister Gan. This capacity has not been reduced but increasing. The rate of testing has not slowed down. However, Minister Gan did not state specifically that there are 8000 tests done on FW as per some website. The 8000 refers to our current capacity to test nationwide.

Minimum 3000 test on FW per day, capacity is increasing
With only 21,000 FW tested to date, if we had 8000 tests per day on FW, we would have reached the number in less than 3 days. Testing for FW had been done since the announcement of Circuit Breakers (there are tests conducted before too). That means testing had been done for at least 21 days indicating an average of 1000 per day. As per what Minster Gan has confirmed, the current capacity for workers is at 3000 and is increasing.

In a nutshell, at least 3000 tests are done daily on FW. Singapore has the capacity to scale up to 8000+ tests nationwide. It does not test 8000 FW daily for the moment.

In addition, it is good to know that testing serves 3 important objectives
1)Diagnose patients fro proper treatment and care
2) To carry out contact tracing to limit and control the spread
3) Carry out surveillance to focus on high risk and targetted groups

While some may bemoan the reduction of the test in dorms that are assessed to have high infection rates, due to the limitation in the number of tests, it makes good sense to test other dorms that are seeing the beginning of an outbreak. This will serve to separate the well and the infected more efficiently to prevent more clusters form.

Given the context of the press conference, it could easily be interpreted in many ways. Hopefully, this will clear the air as to how many are tested in the dorms daily. As Singapore, scale-up testing capacity, do expect numbers to remain high for the next few days if not weeks to come.

Do play your part, stay home and do not contribute to the number.

Stay Safe!







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