The spread of the Wuhan Virus (or nCoV as it is called now) to Singapore affects more than just the healthcare workers who look after the sick.
As our nation gears up to begin work and school after the long Chinese New Year weekend, several new advisories and updates were issued.
Here is a summary of some things Singapore is doing to fight the Wuhan virus as a nation.
1. Official Wuhan nCoV Virus news and information channels
It is sometimes hard to tell what is real or fake online, especially when it looks really believable and shared by our friends.
To get official updates and information whether unofficial news is true or fake, sign up with Gov.sg WhatsApp for latest on the Wuhan virus and other government information. Sign up link: https://go.gov.sg/whatsapp
We can also visit MOH’s official website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/2019-ncov-wuhan for updates on the Wuhan Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
2. Government advisories for specific sectors
Since 23 January 2020, various ministries and statutory boards have issued sector-specific advisories, compiled on this handy MOH website https://www.moh.gov.sg/2019-ncov-wuhan/advisories-for-various-sectors
Today (27 January 2020), the 3rd day of Chinese New Year (and the day before many businesses and preschools open), the government has issued extra advisories by:
- ECDA: preschool staff and children returning from China
- MOE: students and staff returning from mainland China
- MOM: employers and employees
A newly set-up Singapore Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced today (27 January 2020):
- strengthened border measures (temperature screening for all incoming flights via thermal scanners, on top of existing screening)
- additional attention given to flights from mainland China (visual identification of unwell travellers for evaluation by the medical team, referral to nursing stations)
- students, school employees, and staff from pre-schools and healthcare and eldercare facilities returning from China will be given a leave of absence for 14 days to minimise close contact with others
3. Bringing in necessities like face masks
Before the Wuhan Virus outbreak, it was easy to get surgical masks. But over the Chinese New Year weekend, not everyone could get their hands on masks easily.
To address this situation, NTUC FairPrice posted on Facebook today that they are working with their suppliers and MOH to bring in more stocks of N95 and surgical masks, and limiting purchases to ensure more households are able to obtain face masks.
This isn’t the first time NTUC FairPrice has had to stock up masks and curb profiteering. It happened in 2013 with the haze where PSI levels went up to 401.
4. Supporting workers islandwide
Companies have been stepping up to support workers such as providing face masks and hand sanitisers to staff.
ComfortDelGro Taxi will also waive the rental should any of its cabbies be placed under quarantine by the Ministry of Health, in relation to the Wuhan virus.
ComfortDelGro will also extend assistance where needed (including financial aid from its Cabby Hardship Fund) and will work closely with the National Taxi Association (NTA) and National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) to assist its cabbies and staff.
As cabbies come into constant contact with passengers, those who wish to don masks can get them from any of the ComfortDelGro fuelling stations or offices. ComfortDelGro is also providing disinfectant sprays for its cabbies at its fuelling stations.
Over the long weekend, union leaders visited some 3000 workers islandwide to show appreciation to workers who keep our essential services running.
Above: NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng (forefront in red), Labour MP Seah Kian Peng (left) and NTUC Central Committee members Tan Richard and Lim Wen Sheng greeting and appreciating Rivervale Mall FairPrice staff working hard during Chinese New Year eve.
620 bus captains, train captains, office workers and train operations crew at three depots were visited by (Top Photo) Minister Chan Chun Sing, SMS Janil Puthucheary and MOS Zaqy Mohamad, together with (Above) NTWU Executive Secretary Melvin Yong (seated in red shirt), NTUC Central Committee members and NTWU leaders.
5. Preparing quarantine zones
Several sites in Singapore have been designated as quarantine zones:
- NUS’ Prince George’s Park Residences blocks 5, 6, 7 and 8
- NTU’s Graduate Hall 1
- SMU Prinsep Street Residences
- Heritage Chalet
- SAF Changi Chalets
- HomeTeamNS Sembawang Chalets
As posted in an earlier article on “How is Singapore’s healthcare fighting the Wuhan Virus?“, many groups of people play a part in fighting this virus. Let’s stay strong together Singapore.
Featured image by TODAYonline.
Editing is my work.