The 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has affected everyone of us in one way or another, whether you are a frontline worker helping to keep Singaporeans healthy and safe or simply an ordinary Singaporean adapting to the new measures to curb the spread of the virus. We do not know how long this pandemic will last but we must stay united in our fight against the virus.
In recent weeks, we have seen a wave of imported cases and more local clusters forming. Over the coming weeks, the number of cases will continue to rise, as some of 200,000 overseas Singaporeans return home from all over the world. It will also take time for the various measures to take effect.
To slow the local spread of Covid-19, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has adopted a three-pronged approach: first, reducing importation of cases; second, detecting and isolating cases early; and third, emphasising social responsibility and good personal hygiene habits.
At the same time, we will need to ensure that we have the resources and capabilities to see us through this health crisis. Therefore, we must do all we can to preserve capacity and resources for those who most need it. Singapore’s strategy is to slow down the infection rate and maintain it at as low a level as possible until the pandemic is over. A lower infection rate will help us to better conduct epidemiological investigations, contact tracing and quarantining of close contacts to prevent further spread of the disease in the community. It will also preserve healthcare capacity to care for the more severe cases.
To achieve this, we have just announced extensive safe distancing measures, including full home-based learning for our school students, telecommuting for all work places except those in essential services or key economic sectors that support the local or global supply chain.
But the Government is not in this battle against Covid-19 alone. The daily actions of each one of us go a long way in winning this war. We must be socially responsible in our actions because it is not just about ourselves, but our loved ones too.
We must also salute all the healthcare workers for their dedication to caring for our patients. Although the months ahead will be challenging, I am confident that if we stay united, with a whole-of-society effort, we can get through this together as a nation, SG United.
Gan Kim Yong
People’s Action Party
4 April 2020