Recent remarks made by an anonymous person who claimed to be an “ex-nurse” irked Temasek CEO Ho Ching so much that she rubbished the claims in a second Facebook post published in the wee hours of Tuesday (19 May) morning.
Last week, a video began circulating online showing crowds of migrant workers mingling together. The video was accompanied by a message from someone who claims to be the friend of an anonymous ex-nurse who allegedly took the video at Singapore EXPO where she was allegedly recalled to care for the quarantined COVID-positive migrant workers.
In the message, the “ex-nurse” claimed that the workers are “disgustingly unhygienic” and that “all of them gather together in one room socialising and not in their own individual rooms, to be away from each other.”
She suggested that the workers deliberately mingled together “so they continue to be sick” in the hope that they do not have to go back to work. The “ex-nurse” lamented that she is not paid for helping out three days a week and that she does not even dare to drink water during her shifts to avoid the hassle of removing her protective gear.
The “ex-nurse” further alleged that “the migrant workers all suffer from all sorts of illnesses like diabetes to high blood pressure” and that they are provided with meals designed by dietitians. She added that Singapore is “too kind already” to these workers who allegedly have little regard to the frontline personnel who care for them.
Mdm Ho first rebutted the viral message in a Facebook post published on Monday (18 May). She raised doubts about the existence of such an “ex-nurse” and asserted that the post was clearly fake news that was propagated by an anonymous person simply for the sake of being provocative.
Mdm Ho, who is also Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, added that COVID-positive patients are not expected to isolate themselves in a community facility with fellow patients since they are all already infected.
Although she ended her post with the hope that people will not be “blinkered by bigotry,” Mdm Ho seems to have been so irked by the “ex-nurse’s” post that she published another lengthy post rubbishing the claims made in the message about migrant workers.
In a Facebook post published around 3am on Tuesday, Mdm Ho reiterated that the patients at the Changi Exhibition Centre can freely mingle since they are all COVID-positive patients and, as such, do not have individual rooms.
Asserting that the claim that migrant worker patients are being unhygienic by mixing around is “just rubbish,” Mdm Ho added: “And if this is supposedly an observation by an ex-nurse, that “nurse” has a lot to learn, to put it politely.”
The chief executive of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund added that the “ex-nurse” is “either ignorant or throwing smoke” for claiming that the workers have pre-existing medical conditions since the community care facilities (CCFs) are to house younger patients who are healthy without underlying conditions.
Older patients or those who have underlying conditions are hospitalised given the higher risk of complications. Mdm Ho highlighted scientific research that young patients of all races and nationalities all over the world recover quickly if they do not have underlying illnesses and said:
“So the patients at CCFs are all young and healthy. Even then, there could be a handful of healthy young people, whose illness may take a turn for the worse. They may need oxygen support. Such patients would immediately be sent to hospitals.
“So if there is really an ex-nurse grumbling that the changi exhibition centre, or CEC, is full of migrant workers in poor health, then this must be a very ignorant “nurse” who knows or knew very little of his or her patients.”
Mdm Ho also took issue with the “ex-nurse’s” claims that she was recalled to work without pay. She asked: “Finally, an ex-nurse who was recalled to help and not getting paid? Really? Really, really, really? If so, i think that this poor “ex-nurse” if he or she exists, would have every right to go complain to their supervisor, employer, or MOM, don’t you think?”
Read her post in full here: