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Covid-19: PM Lee thanks everyone for making the job of a contact tracer feasible

The PM shared a video on how contact tracing works and the intensive and meticulous effort it takes to ensure Singapore is safe

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Singapore – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is extending his appreciation for Covid-19 patients who cooperate with contact tracers and help keep the spread of the virus within Singapore under control.

On March 3, PM Lee shared a Mothership video featuring a Singapore General Hospital (SGH) contact tracer. “With the current 108 confirmed cases, imagine all the detailed, laborious work done, to track down every interaction of each patient over two weeks,” wrote PM Lee. “Fortunately, Covid-19 patients have generally been cooperative in sharing information,” he added.

The contact tracer featured in the video was Edwin from SGH’s Infection Prevention and Epidemiology department. As part of the hospital contact tracing team, Edwin has been working like a doctor-on-call since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Edwin explained the contact tracing process, from the time they receive a call of a patient who tested positive to the submission of reports to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

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It is their task to get a detailed list of the patients’ activities 14 days before hospital admission such as travel history, every location they visited and even what they had for their daily meals. Edwin would then encode the data into chronological order, from Day 1 to Day 14 and submit the information to MOH within two hours. “So basically, we are the starting point for some of the ministry’s work to get as much information from the patients,” said Edwin.

He shared how he would suddenly receive calls after work and had to drop everything to talk to the patient and get all the information. “I’m practically on call 24/7, la if there’s a positive case,” said Edwin.

The contact tracing team’s task requires much attention to detail and patience, especially if the patient can’t remember where they’ve been. “You have those that can’t even remember what they had for lunch yesterday – people like me!” said Edwin who admitted that one had to be very patient in prodding the individual to remember details. He did confirm that everyone he’s worked with so far was cooperative and forthcoming with information.

“Everyone does a different part,” Edwin said. “Mine is just one piece of that big puzzle that everyone is trying to put together and scramble for. So, ok la, I contribute one puzzle piece? Not bad, hor.”

PM Lee also thanked the patients’ for their assistance and the team for carrying out the vital work. “You enable us to control the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore and keep us all safe,” he said.

Photo: FB screengrab/Lee Hsien Loong

SGH commented on PM Lee’s post, expressing their appreciation for being highlighted by the prime minister.

Photo: FB screengrab/Lee Hsien Loong

Ray Toei confirmed the efficiency and professionalism of the contact tracers after receiving a surveillance call from them.

Photo: FB screengrab/Lee Hsien Loong

Meanwhile, netizens commended Singapore’s efforts in handling the outbreak and shared that the country “has to be the safest in the world.”

Photo: FB screengrab/Lee Hsien Loong

Photo: FB screengrab/Lee Hsien Loong

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