How is Singapore’s healthcare fighting the Wuhan Virus?

The Wuhan Virus now known as nCoV has infected three people in Singapore and caused the lockdown of more than 10 cities in China.

These figures of the nCoV virus outbreak are rising.

The virus doesn’t only affect patients who caught it but also may spread to healthcare workers.

During SARS, many of the cases were healthcare workers who were infected.

The logistics needed to contain the outbreak also involve a heck many different groups of workers in Singapore.

A breast surgeon recently shared the challenges faced by the medical leadership, different worker communities and volunteers who are part of a huge Singapore team tackling the nCOV outbreak.

Read the full post below:

Other than being a breast surgeon, I have served on the council of the Singapore Medical Association since 2006, and took on Editor of the newsletter, as well as being the vice-president. This April, I am standing for election for the presidency of the SMA.

The long CNY weekend is coming; and I think almost all chinese families would be celebrating!

For education’s puspose, I have to share something in relation to the rapidly evolving Wuhan virus outbreak:

When SARS came in 2003, I was waiting for electives before starting my final year. I was worried I won’t be able to take exams and graduate. Respected seniors died. When I joined the workforce, I heard more war stories, from doctors, nurses. I worked through H1N1, MERS, various influenza outbreaks.

We grumbled about how inconvenient these PPE measures are, but we all learnt.

🔺Now, this coronavirus brings back the same urgent feel as SARS.

Those of us in medical leadership have a challenging job: how to remain up to date, look after the Singapore citizens, the healthcare workers; and consider the economic implications.

How to disseminate timely, accurate information to medical community, to public- without causing unnecessary hysteria, but also to stress on the urgency and potential dangers. I have witness both extremes in the people I speak to: people who said last week- “No lah, where’s Wuhan? Won’t come Singapore la”; or people who already plan to hide somewhere until “this is over”.

Being VP of the SMA, I am actually now involved as part of the HUGE team helping doctors be ready to fight this new threat.

Without going into specifics, I want to share my experiences over these past few days: the magnitude of the problem, the complex logistics issues.

📌Trying to get timely accurate information about this new virus

📌How to disseminate effectively to docs (email? SMS? Phone calls? There are 15,000 docs, how many nurses? Clerks? and how many individual clinics out there!)

📌Assist MOH with planning, and preparation

📌Must not cause hysteria, but cannot be complacent

Huge complex network of people and personalities to engage-

🔸MOH has admin, politicians, admin docs

🔸Specialists: infectious diseases, respiratory, ICU, A&E etc

🔸Hospital admin, in public and in private

🔸The frontline docs, nurses, clerks: especially GPs

🔸Airports, immigration points

🔸Vendors of medical equipment; distributors, pharmacies

Everyone has been working overtime; doctor volunteers such as those of us in the SMA, CFPS have urgently shifted clinical work away to attend these meetings and contribute in whatever way we can.

To help administrators understand the urgency of the problem, and the challenges on the ground. The MOH staff has also been working very very hard to coordinate everything, as well as they can.

❤️💛💚💙Good communication, collaboration and mutual respect + support is essential for us to handle this developing situation.


Many people complain the SMA (or MOH, or College) does nothing.

They have no idea how much of this kind of support work goes on behind the scenes every day. The SMA docs do it not for money- we are all volunteers- but because we believe in the greater good, and in looking after the community.

#leadership #singaporemedicalassociation

#foodforthought #wuhanvirus #coronavirus

I wish all readerships health and peace in #cny2020

Original FB post here

Featured photo of healthcare workers suiting up: The Straits Times

About Author

Editing is my work.