Covid-19 in Singapore
Covid-19 in Singapore
1. A brief situation of the Covid-19 infection in your country.
The first confirmed case who was a 66 year old tourist from Wuhan was found in 23 January.
The first cluster of local transmission detected on 4 Feb. Statistics up to date:
As of 12th April 2020
Total cases: 2299
Total deaths: 8
Total recovered: 528
Active cases: 1763
Singapore has taken Covid-19 very seriously from the start. The utmost efforts are taken into detecting new cases, isolating them and to trace their contacts and quarantine them. We have been advised to keep safe distances apart, observe proper self-hygiene, wash hands and to wear masks when going out. Substantially tighter safe distancing measures were introduced in the form of a circuit breaker. Non-essential workplaces, schools and childcare centres have been closed, and everyone has been advised to stay home. It is a very difficult fight and the number of cases continue to rise despite the country’s best efforts.
2. What are the measures taken by your government to control this virus infection.
The Singapore government set up a multi-agency task force at the start of the outbreak. The government had implemented the following:
- Ongoing: Curbing spread of fake new. Advisory to view all official announcements from the Ministry of Health website
- 23Jan: Contact tracing and isolation of high risk groups
- 29 Jan:Quarantine order allowance scheme introduced
- 30 Jan: Distribution of 4 facemasks per household
- 2 Feb: Stabilisation and support package for transportation and tourism industries
- 7 Feb: DORSCON level raised to Orange
- 9 Feb: Government emphasis on food stability in response to panic buying of groceries
- 10 Feb: Movement of healthcare workers across different hospitals restricted
- 11 Feb: Singapore and Malaysia set up cross country task force
- 13 Feb: Grants given to taxi drivers and private car drivers
- 18 Feb: $6 billion dollar assurance package (Unity budget) for enterprises, workers, families and front line workers
- 2 Mar: Funding for air transport companies to train workers
- 5 Mar: Travellers to Singapore who appear feverish to undergo compulsory nasal swab test
- 10 Mar: Suspension of activities for seniors
- 13 Mar: Suspension of events and gatherings of 250 people or more
- 14 Mar: Social distancing advisory
- 18 Mar: Provision of short term housing and accommodation subsidy for Malaysian workers
- 19 Mar: Tightening of preventive measures in schools
- 26 Mar: Advisory to limit social gathering to 10 people or less. $48 billion dollar assurance package accnounced (Resilience budget).
- 31 Mar: Singapore armed forces to postpone all major activities
- 1 Apr: All schools conduct one day of home based learning per week
- 6 Apr: $5 billion dollar assurance package (Solidarity budget) announced.
- 7 Apr: Circuit breaker implemented
3. What has been learned in your country with regard to this pandemic.
Singapore cooperates closely with our neighbours and to learn from one another’s perspective. She greatly appreciates the leadership and expertise of the WHO. As an urban city, Singapore is very vulnerable to infectious disease spread and much experience had been learnt from the SARS and H1N1 outbreak and has invested resources in pandemic preparedness over the years.
4. How is this virus infection affecting your daily life and work? You might like to add in your other opinion.
The virus spread in Singapore has made it compulsory for workplaces to implement telecommuting where possible. With the circuit breaker measures that have been implemented, schools are converting to full home based learning till 4 May. As a lecturer, we are tasked to convert our teaching delivery to an online format. I spend most of the time telecommuting from home and developing eLearning lessons to prepare for the new academic semester.
With the implementation of working from home, it becomes hard to differentiate the boundaries of home and work. I often find myself working way into the night and often on weekends. This requires greater self-discipline and time management to prevent burnout when working from home.
The social distancing measures have required every Singaporean to compromise with regard to lifestyle. We are advised not to visit the elderly relatives for health reasons, and not to have any social gatherings. Exercising routines become disrupted and we have to improvise and find alternatives at home. The uncertainty and vulnerability that we all face allows us to reflect on and appreciate the things that we often take for granted in life.
It is a time where social cohesion and responsibility is needed and everyone has to do their part to control the pandemic.
Contributed by an alumnus of SSP from Singapore