According to reports on Bloomberg, Singapore has now become Asia’s most Corona virus infected nation after China and India despite having one of Asia’s smallest populations. As of writing, Singapore has reported 931 new cases which brings the total number of COVID-19 infections to 13,000.
Coming from a country that barely a few months ago was lauded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international media outlets as having a gold standard in terms of containing the corona virus, the current state of play is gargantuan fall from grace.
Despite consistent reassurances by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that these cases are confined within the migrant worker community and not within the wider population in Singapore, the numbers are black and white and speak for themselves.
There are a lot of cases no matter what caveats the MOM try to apply and these are the numbers that will be officially cited without regard as to which group of people were infected. The MOM’s constant emphasis on the spread being confined to the migrant workers could arguably come across as needlessly defensive and grasping at straws.
Besides, the government is currently taking great pains to state that the migrant workers are a part of our community and that Singapore will take care of them as one of us.
With that in mind, why is the MOM still focusing on saying that the spread of COVID-19 is mostly within the ranks of the migrant workers?
If they are part of our community, then there is no need to differentiate. If we are one community, then their number of infections are our numbers of infections. To say that they are part of us but yet place emphasis on the virus spread being largely among our migrant workers is contradictory and confusing.
We all have access to the same sources and the Internet. It is not as if the government can reassure the migrant workers (and their respective governments) and Singaporeans at the same time but with a different message when we are all probably reading the same news sources and Facebook. It is as antithetical as it is pointless.
Worst still, it could come across as hypocritical and false to both voters and foreign governments alike which in turn does the Singapore government no favours.
At this point, we have extremely high cases for a small country. End of. We fell from gold standard to shit show in under two months and there has to be some accountability for that. While the corona virus is unpredictable and unprecedented, from the Singaporean context, there was ample warning that the cases within the dormitories would explode.
Yet, has there ever been an apology from the MOM for their earlier inaction? So far, its all been explanations and justifications when really, what is needed is a simple sorry.