Singapore — There are many on the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, including doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, support staff, and police officers and their auxiliary counterparts.
They have to put up with long days, leave being frozen and rude treatment from some members of the public.
Another group of people who have been working very hard at this time are the country’s cleaners. One report says that they are now disinfecting areas as many as three times a day.
Early this month, alarmed at the first local transmission of the virus, town councils increased efforts to prevent its spread. One of the ways they did this was by increasing the number of times workers cleaned public areas.
In various parts of Tampines, cleaners began to disinfect lift buttons three times a day. In the past, cleaning was done once a day.
Mr Masagos Zuflikli, the Environment and Water Resources Minister and an MP for Tampines GRC, visited Tampines West on Feb 5 as cleaners disinfected the playground and railings, as well as lift buttons.
The cleaners used disinfectant and wore gloves and masks.
It was reported on todayonline.com on Thursday (Feb 13) that some cleaners had their working hours doubled from 8 to 16 following mounting requests for disinfection from the public.
It quoted Mr Peter Peng, the owner of Abba maintenance services, as saying: “Besides limited numbers, we also have limited machines to carry out disinfection control. Before the outbreak, clients were asking for disinfecting works to be done just once a month. Nobody knew this virus was going to happen. We were not prepared to serve higher volumes.”
In MRT stations and hawker centers, cleaning has also been happening more frequently, with disinfectant wipe-downs being done several times a day.
Netizens have expressed their gratitude to the hardworking cleaners for keeping Singapore’s spaces safe.
One hoped that they would be able to spend some time with their families on Valentine’s Day.
Some suggested that an increase in their pay would make their efforts worthwhile.
One hoped that they would get good rest in-between their working hours, for everyone’s safety.