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Everyone of us can make a difference against Covid-19: Heng Swee Keat

More than 3,000 advisories issued on Wednesday to those disregarding safe distancing measures

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Singapore – As the country entered the circuit breaker period to curb the spike in Covid-19 cases, it appears that not all are on the same page.

On the second day of implementation, enforcement officers issued more than 3,000 advisories to those blatantly disregarding the measures, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Mr Heng took to Facebook on Thursday (April 9) to give feedback on the ongoing precautions within the country. He shared that he too has been working mostly from home since the circuit breaker started and in the few occasions that he met with other leaders, they wore masks and practised extra safety precautions.

In another meeting with the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, the main agenda was addressing the issue of getting “everyone to observe the measures, to keep each other safe, and to protect our people”, said Mr Heng.

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He thanked most of the public for adjusting their daily routines, noting that “most Singaporeans understand that the situation is serious” and that the goal is to minimise physical contact to limit the spread of the virus.

“But some are blatantly disregarding the measures,” Mr Heng said. “Enforcement officers issued more than 3,000 advisories yesterday,” he added. In response to such incidents, the enforcement process has been updated, and officers will be issuing stern warnings to first-time offenders who do not adhere to the elevated safe distancing measures, he said.

On April 7, an elderly man who wanted to eat at a void deck was arrested by authorities for refusing to comply when the police asked him to leave. Photos and videos of other people not heeding the stringent measures have also been circulating online.

Also on Thursday, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli announced in a Facebook post that enforcement officers were stepping up enforcement action. In addition to “immediately taking down the particulars of anyone found to be in breach of elevated safe distancing measures”, violators will be dealt in the following manner:

1st offence: Stern written warning
2nd offence: S$300 fine
3rd offence: Charge in court

“We need everyone’s cooperation for these circuit breaker measures to be effective,” said Mr Masagos. He added that some individuals are uncooperative, insisting on dining in at food establishments, not maintaining safe distances, queueing in markets and gathering in parks to eat or exercise. He called for everyone to make the remaining circuit breaker period count.

Mr Heng noted that it is not just healthcare and essential service workers that are on the frontlines. “Every one of us is at the frontlines, every one of us can make a difference,” he added.

I have been working mostly from home since the "circuit breaker" started. In the few occasions we still had to meet, we…

Posted by Heng Swee Keat on Thursday, April 9, 2020

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