Singapore—On the occasion of his 68th birthday on Monday, February 10, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chose a new and upbeat profile picture—one that shows determination to defeat the problems that have arisen from the current Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
PM Lee’s new photo, which shows him smiling and confident, has a frame that reads “Together we can overcome” and carries the hashtag #SGUnited.
The frame is available from SCAPE.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, a city in central China, has since infected over 40,000 people around the globe, with a death toll of over 900.
Singapore is one of the countries with the highest number of people infected with the virus. At present the country has 43 diagnosed cases of 2019-nCoV, with the Ministry of Health (MOH) reporting in its latest update that six individuals have fully recovered from the virus. Three new cases of the virus were confirmed on Sunday (Feb 9), all of whom have “no recent travel history to China”.
The government raised the alert to Dorscon orange on Friday (Feb 7) after the number of cases in the country continued to rise.
The raised alert led to a spate of panic buying of food and supplies, with photos of long queues of people and empty shelves at grocery stores on Friday night.
Amid all this, the Prime Minister posted video messages on the website of the Prime MInister’s Office (PMO) as well as on his Facebook account in English, Chinese and Malay, to assure Singaporeans that the Ministerial Task Force is actively dealing with the outbreak and that the country has ample food supplies, and therefore there is no need for panic buying.
The Prime Minister changed his profile photo on Facebook on February 10, as perhaps yet another show of encouragement and optimism that the country can pull together to beat the virus outbreak, just as it did with SARS in 2003.
As he chose a new profile photo on his birthday, hundreds of netizens have been quick to send greetings and well wishes.
Others thanked him and other government officials for their communication about the virus outbreak.
Yet others appreciated his emphasis on unity.
The Prime Minister received birthday greetings even from citizens of other nations.