Singapore— Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong says that the public needs to prepare for some who are infected with the Novel coronavirus (Covid-19) to “succumb to the infection.”
The Ministry of Health announced in its latest update that there are currently 50 confirmed cases of the virus in Singapore. While 15 individuals have fully recovered from the virus and have been allowed to leave the hospital, Wednesday (Feb 12) saw six new confirmed cases of the infection.
Moreover, eight of the current cases are classified as in critical condition, which is what prompted Mr Gan’s remarks for the public to be prepared.
He said in a press conference that the eight critical cases would be receiving “the best care possible” in the intensive care unit of the hospital, but that the country should be ready for the worst.
“While most infected patients will recover, some may become seriously ill and a small number may succumb to the infection ultimately,” South China Morning Post (SCMP) quotes Mr Gan as saying.
The Health Minister, who along with Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, heads the multi-ministry task force to address the outbreak, also appealed for Singaporeans to treat health care and other front line workers well during this time, and not to shun them.
“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to Singaporeans not to do so. In fact, let us come together to show our support for them, and to support their work, so they continue to take care of our patients and families and our loved ones.”
He added,”Sometimes a kind word or a warm greeting will go a long way to make them feel appreciated, and give them a morale boost to continue the fight.”
Reports have emerged on social media of healthcare workers being asked to leave buses or being shouted at on trains or told to take the stairs rather than escalators in MRT stations and malls.
On his part, Mr Wong assured the public that officials are endeavouring to contain the infection through exhaustive efforts in contact tracing.
He said, “That work is proceeding and we’re going all out to try and contain and isolate these clusters each time we see it forming.”
He said that when he’s been asked about the outcome of the outbreak, Mr Wong said, “The honest answer is: it is still too early to tell. We really can’t say whether it will get better, whether it will get worse, what sort of situation is going to unfold.
We don’t know how successful we will be in all of these containment measures that we have put in place. We will do our very best, but if there’s a need then we may very well have to step up and [introduce] more measures, additional measures that involve social distancing in order to try and reduce the chance of the virus spreading faster.”
The National Development Minister added that amidst fear and panic spreading on social media, it has sometimes been challenging to get the right information out. “In today’s world of social media, fear and uncertainty and panic spread a lot faster than the truth, which is boring and nobody wants to share.” -/TISG