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Elderly couple struggle to comply with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19

Man finds it difficult to breathe with face mask and wife has to walk more because of safe distancing barriers

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Singapore — An elderly man has called on the authorities to consider the plight of people with breathing and mobility difficulties and who, therefore, find it difficult to comply with Covid-19 safety measures.

On Friday (Dec 4), Facebook user Toh Thiam Hock highlighted this issue on the Complaint Singapore page. The 71-year-old suffered a stroke about two years ago. He found it difficult to breathe with a face mask. He said that he was living with his wife, who was also 71 and had mobility issues.

“My doctor from the polyclinic gave me a medical memo to excuse the wearing of face mask by wearing a face shield instead,” he said. “But the bus captain does not allow me to board the bus without a face mask.”

Furthermore, all the barriers established to enforce safe distancing around wet markets and supermarket have made it challenging for the couple. The barriers “mean we have to walk an extra distance to enter and exit the places”.

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“We have no complaints if we have no breathing or walking difficulties to follow the rules,” said Mr Toh. He asked if the authorities could look into the matter to make lives less difficult for those with breathing and walking difficulties as they have to struggle each day to stay alive.

He called for “some mercy” when the authorities enforce rules for the majority. He urged them to tell their enforcement officers, and bus captains, that the wearing of a face shield is acceptable for people with a doctor’s memo.

As for safe distancing measures, he said: “Every step shorter is a blessing to those with breathing and walking difficulties.”

A few cases have been highlighted in the media previously about people not wearing masks for the same reason. When reminded by passers-by to put them on, the individuals said they found it difficult to breathe when they put on the masks.

In the comments section, Mr Toh received advice on how he could deal with the situation. Some people asked him who he had voted for and whether he had sought help from his Member of Parliament. /TISG

Read related: Couple fined $300 each for not wearing masks after eating in latest breaches of safety measures

Couple fined $300 each for not wearing masks after eating in latest breaches of safety measures

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