MP Cheng Li Hui: NEA advises me to wear mask to protect residents and volunteers

MP Cheng Li Hui wearing mask to distribute food

It was reported that Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui wore a mask while visiting her residents at Tampines East on Saturday (8 Feb).

She said one of her residents at Tampines East is a confirmed patient of the coronavirus. She was likely referring to Case 31 reported by MOH the previous day (7 Feb).

Ministry of Health said Case 31 is a 53 year-old male Singaporean staying at Tampines Street 24, which falls under Tampines East constituency. He is currently warded in an isolation room at Changi General Hospital (CGH). He was admitted to CGH on 1 Feb and confirmed to be infected with the virus on 6 Feb. He is one of the Singaporeans said to be infected through The Life Church and Missions at Paya Lebar by a PRC couple returning from Wuhan.

Said MP Cheng on her Facebook post, “I visited the patient’s block again today, to support the cleaning done by the Tampines Town Council. I also stopped by the quarantined home briefly, and dropped the family a card with the CC’s contact details should they need help.”

“I left them some freshly baked bread and groceries at their door for them to bring in after we left,” she added.

Then, she proceeded to explain that she was advised by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) to put on a mask. She wrote, “To protect other residents and volunteers, I wore a mask and gloves on the advice of NEA officers.”

She went on to say that she and others have been “working on the ground and helping the affected residents”.

“Now is definitely not the time for destructive politics and fear-mongering. Each of us have to take personal responsibility for our own actions and hygiene habits, and look out for one another in the community,” she said.

Taking a swipe at the critics of the People’s Action Party, she added, “We will be doing a food donation drive tomorrow at Blk 201B, from 8am to 12noon. The food would go to low income families and those in need. I hope many – including the armchair critics – would come by and contribute.”

Govt asking public to wear masks only when ill

MP Cheng’s comment appears to contradict what the government has been telling the public, that masks should only be worn by those who are unwell.

The government 4G leaders told the public that masks are needed only by those who are unwell and need to see a doctor.

Those who are well do not need to don a mask to try to avoid catching a virus. They would be better protected by washing their hands with soap and water regularly, the government said.

In government went on to distribute 4 free masks for each household. Trade and Industry Development Minister Chan Chun Sing told the public, “This is not a set of masks for us to take, open immediately, use it to go to the hawker centre. These masks are to be kept in the household for members of our families who might get ill and need to access medical help.”

The government has also been putting up front page advertisements in local media telling people not to wear mask if one is well:

No where did the advertisement say to wear mask so as to help protect others.

Perhaps Minister Chan should clarify again for people like MP Cheng who is obviously well and healthy, should she be wearing a mask or not?


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