2019 novel coronavirus (Covid -19) is not only a medical and public health challenge; it is also a psychological battle against fear and uncertainty. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong put it: “Fear can actually do more harm than the virus itself”. The Government has sought to allay the fears of Singaporeans and keep their trust, by being transparent about the situation, the measures we are taking and the reasons for doing so, and giving regular information on the evolving situation. As a citizen, you can do your part by keeping informed of what you need to do, respond calmly and do the right thing.
The Gov.sg social media channels, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube is a good source of information on Covid-19. They include timely and trusted updates on cases, clarifications on misinformation as well as advisories on good hygiene practices and social responsibility. The WhatsApp service is available in four languages and overseas to ensure that those away can be updated on the latest Covid-19 developments at home.
There have been many online rumours circulating in the context of Covid-19. It is important to seek information from verified sources and not to believe in these online falsehoods. I am heartened to know that a group of students from Nanyang Technological University started a fact-checking initiative called “Sure Anot”, aimed at older Singaporeans. They developed a guide for seniors to assess information they receive, based on National Library Board’s digital literacy framework – “Source, Understand, Research, Evaluate”.
This is a trying time for many. If you need a helping hand to get by the Covid-19 crisis, you can find out the available grants, funds and package available for individuals on Support Go Where. For jobseekers and workers affected by the crisis, you can visit virtual career fairs on SG United Jobs Portal. Budget 2020 provides information on Government’s support for Singaporeans and businesses during this period.
During the circuit breaker, it is crucial to stay at home. But if you have respiratory illnesses and need to visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC), you can look up Flu Go Where to find a PHPC near you from the more than 950 participating clinics. If you are anxious or stressed, you can call the National Care Hotline on 6202-6868 to seek help. If you are worried that you might have contracted Covid-19, a symptom checker can help you decide on what to do next based on the symptoms you are experiencing.
For those who need to visit the PHPC or other essential amenities such as hawker centres and supermarkets, you can find the shortest traveling route to your destination from OneMap website or the app. Before stepping out of your home, do check Space Out to see whether the malls, supermarkets and post offices are crowded. It is important to practise safe distancing when you are out. If you happen to see anyone not doing so, alert the authorities using the OneService App. However, take note that you should only report what you see and not something you saw on social media or online.
Although the current Covid-19 crisis is challenging, you can make full use of your time even while staying at home. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched a We Go Digital page as part of its Stay Healthy, Go Digital campaign! The self-help resources can help you buy, pay and learn online. For parents, the Ministry of Education has provided you with a Parent Kit on how you can support your child’s learning from home.
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, the Government will continue to ensure that different segments of our society remain informed. Stay calm, stay informed and we will ride though this trying period together.
Together, we can and will overcome.
People’s Action Party
8 May 2020