Friday, 22 September 2023

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Letter to PM Lee: Govt should have barred travellers from Hubei from entering Singapore earlier; urges complete ban of China nationals

by Jeannie

Dear Prime Minister and Ms Tai (Immigration & Checkpoint Authority),

I refer to your reply on 29 January 2020 and thank the government for taking a wise decision to ban people from Hubei province from entering our land. However, after reading the news on the development of the Wuhan virus situation, I feel that perhaps the government should have taken the action earlier.

On 23 Jan 2020, the Chinese government locked down Wuhan and subsequently expanded the lockdown to more cities.

On 26 Jan, the Mayor of Wuhan announced that 5 million people (almost 50% of the city’s population of 11 million) have already left the city before the restriction was imposed; and I also read that almost 10,000 of them came to Singapore.

The Chinese visitors are walking around in our streets and spreading the virus with or without their own knowledge that they are already infected. In fact, the Chinese people are very irresponsible to come here to contaminate our land knowing well that the virus is already spreading back home in Wuhan, when Singapore was still in the dark!

No apologies for kicking them out. Let’s not allow history to repeat itself by letting in more China nationals.

In China, the virus has already spread rapidly to every province and territory in China except for Tibet (however, I read a latest news today mentioning that Tibet has one case).

On Thursday (30 Jan), “China’s National Health Commission said that the total number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in the country has risen by 38 to 170 as of end-Wednesday, as the number of infected patients rose by more than 1,700”.

As of 30 Jan, there are more than 7700 confirmed cases in mainland China. There have been daily, if not hourly, news on these numbers and the numbers have been growing by the day despite the lockdown of cities.

Based on the rate China is building its hospitals to accommodate thousands of the Wuhan virus patients and locking down their own cities one after another, it is not difficult to sense the urgency and the exponential rate which the virus has spread.

Is Chinese government over reacting?  I don’t think so.

As such, Singapore government should have sensed the urgency and severity of the matter and implement a ban on ALL Chinese nationals, not just those from Hubei province.

Therefore, I plead on behalf of the people of Singapore that the government expand the temporary ban to ALL China nationals urgently before it is too late. Timing is of the essence in an epidemic.

I reiterate that Singapore is a small, inter-connected and congested country where the Wuhan virus can potentially be transmitted exponentially.

With our aging population, we are especially vulnerable to the Wuhan virus, so Singapore cannot take any chance.

Otherwise, I fear that more and more China nationals will come to Singapore given that other nations like Hong Kong and Malaysia have already banned them from entering their country.

We should and can already anticipate that as more doors are closed, those who are desperate to leave China, will turn to doors which are open, like Singapore.

This is not the time to earn more tourists money redirected from other countries. It is in fact the time to protect YOUR OWN CITIZENS – a responsibility of all governments, including Singapore.

By allowing the entry of China nationals, we are risking the lives of our people, and the lives of our health care staff, doctors and nurses to treat the imported disease – not to mention our limited health-care resources.

Other countries and cities have already taken measures to ban or stop China nationals from entering their cities. All for the purpose of protecting their people. Some airlines have stopped flying to China for the purpose of protecting their employees.

I am voicing out the concern of Singapore people. We look to the Singapore government to protect the people of Singapore!


A concerned citizen, Jeannie

Editor’s Note: This letter has been lightly edited for grammatical reasoning but its context was preserved. This was sent to PM’s email along with other ministers and officers.

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