Progress Singapore Party’s Secretary-General, Dr Tan Cheng Bock in a Facebook post on Sunday, urged the public to “stay calm”, “take care” and “be considerate” now that the ‘Disease Outbreak Response System Condition’ level in Singapore has been raised to “Orange” on Friday.
The former Central-Executive Member of the ruling party, pointed out that Singapore had overcome and learned invaluable lessons in outbreak management and spread containment when it faced the SARs virus in 2003.
“We then applied these lessons to counter subsequent threats such as the swine flu and the H1N1 bird flu.” wrote Dr Tan.
Dr Tan who was also a practicing doctor for 50 years, noted that the Wuhan virus — or officially referred to as 2019 novel coronavirus — is a new virus that the world has never seen before.
“Worldwide, governments and health professionals are sparing no effort combating this mutant strain – learning its behaviour, treating patients and hopefully finding a vaccine soon.”
Praising and reminding people that brave doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital, laboratory and clinic staff are literally risking their lives to lead the fight. Dr Tan urges the public not to leave the fight to the frontline heroes as this virus is everyone’s problem.
Referring to how some people have acted in fear by storming the supermarkets to the extent that NTUC Fairprice has had to impose purchase limits for paper products, rice and instant noodles, Dr Tan said that while what the public can do may not seem much compared to the frontline heroes but “if everyone chips in, it will send a signal that we stand with them.”
For this, Dr Tan calls out for the people to do three things.
“The 1st thing we can do is to Stay Calm. It takes courage not to panic. If parents remain cool and steady, your children will learn to do so as well. Don’t forward rumours on social media. Don’t panic buy groceries. Don’t blame others. Worry and stress will also affect your health and the quality of your sleep. Panicking helps nobody, least of all ourselves.”
“The 2nd thing we can do is to Take Care. Take good care of your personal health and hygiene. If we stay healthy, we will help free up the medical profession to treat those who really need medical care and attention. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Keep your living areas clean. Wash your hands often. You will be an asset to those in need when you are strong.”
“The 3rd thing we can do is to Be Considerate. Think of the well-being of others. Look out for the interest of our senior citizens and young children. Stay home if you are unwell. Wear a mask if you have a cold or are coughing. Your cough may be harmless but you will ease the worry of others when you wear a mask.
If you are under quarantine, follow all the prescribed regulations to stop the spreading of disease. Don’t avoid giving your information for contact tracing. Co-operate fully. It may seem a little more troublesome and take up your time, but it is the right and good thing to do. Keep others safe and others will keep you safe.”