Singaporeans have expressed their concern over the feasibility of implementing the social distancing measure in public spaces such as the bus or the train. These concerns came after reports of officials sitting a significant distance apart from each other at a press conference held on Friday (March 13).
According to a report by straitstimes.com, Minister of Health, Gan Kim Yong; Minister or National Development, Lawrence Wong; and Director of Medical Services for Singapore’s Ministry of Health, Professor Kenneth Mak during a press conference on Friday (March 13), maintained social distance from one another by sitting one meter away. Aside from them, journalists present at the conference also followed the measure.
Given that the Covid-19 outbreak was officially declared a pandemic by the World Heath Organisation, governments around the world have been scrambling to implement the necessary measures to combat the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
In another report by straitstimes.com, Mr Wong recently said that the implementation of the social distancing measure must be assessed and adjusted accordingly, as perpetual isolation is nearly impossible. “We have a range of social distancing measures that we are continuing to study, and whether they apply to events, to gatherings, to cruises… we will look at what’s appropriate as the situation evolves, and whether or not we should apply tighter measures along the way,” he said.
In an article by mothership.sg, the measures taken in the task force’s recent press conference were compared to that of previous ones that have been held wherein people sat close together.
However, in the comments section of the shared article, netizens questioned the feasibility of implementing such social distancing measures as doing so would be quite the challenge–especially in public spaces such as the bus and the train.
While one netizen by the name of Zan Chou took the news as a sign of government officials distancing themselves from Singaporean citizens, saying “They have distanced themselves from the rest of Singapore society,” others raised their concern over the particular measure. Citing the dense population of Singapore, multiple online users argued that though the measure is “ideally” an effective one, doing so in the MRT, buses, and shopping malls was hard to visualise.
“Not practical,” said one.
Another netizen by the name of Ken Saiyan even dared politicians to give commuting a try, so they would see how challenging it would be to put the measure in place. “Leaders should lead by example by taking packed-like-sardine buses and train(s) too,” he said, “not by cars with chauffeurs.”
Others called for the Government to focus on a way to implement social distancing when it comes to public transport which many Singaporeans use as an everyday means of getting around.