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Netizen writes open letter to People’s Association Chairman PM Lee and Deputy Chairman Chan Chun Sing after COVID-19 cluster at SAFRA Jurong

In the letter one Maurice Tay wrote that he was shocked that a large-scale, non-essential event such as the one at Safra Jurong was given the green light to proceed despite Singapore’s DORSCON being at orange

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In an open letter addressed to the Chairman of the People’s Association (PA) Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Deputy Chairman of the People’s Association Chan Chun Sing, one netizen raised questions pertaining to the new COVID-19 cases that came after a private dinner function at Safra Jurong.

In the letter, shared online on social media, one Maurice Tay wrote that he was shocked that a large-scale, non-essential event such as the one at Safra Jurong was given a green light to proceed despite Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) being at orange.

He wrote: “For it to be given the tag of a “private function” misleads the public into thinking it was a small family function or such when it was later revealed that the two events hosted a combined total of a few hundred people, most of whom attended singing classes under the purview of People’s Association (PA) and/or Resident Committees (RCs)”.

He also asked: “I think the public would like to know if PA/RC had any knowledge of a function being organized that gathered a few hundred people in an enclosed air-conditioned environment”.

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He also said that if the PA or RC was aware of the function, “what happened to the oft-touted social responsibility advocated by our government in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus?”

30 cases from Safra Jurong….?*Why non-essential event was given go-ahead despite DORSCON orange alert?*Letter to…

Posted by Tan Gerald on Monday, March 9, 2020

Mr Tay said that even private condominiums have ceased the booking of all function rooms in a bid to do their part to contain the spread, and asked why Safra Jurong was not aware of the scale of the event.

He added: “This, to me, is a classic case of playing Russian Roulette on the part of the singing coach(es) and whoever was responsible for letting this event take place. Well, the suspense is over and unfortunately for the larger community and our medical workers, those who chose to play this risky game lost”.

He concluded his post saying, “It is not a game we can afford to keep playing given our limited resources”.

The group who attended a private Chinese New Year dinner at Safra Jurong is the largest Covid-19 cluster here, with a total of 36 confirmed cases.

The full letter:

30 cases from Safra Jurong….?
*Why non-essential event was given go-ahead despite DORSCON orange alert?*

Letter to People’s Association Chairman, Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Chairman Chan Chun Sing

Dear Sir,

It beggars belief that such a large scale, non-essential event was given the go-ahead to proceed despite a Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) orange alert in place on the 7 February. For it to be given the tag of a “private function” misleads the public into thinking it was a small family function or such when it was later revealed that the two events hosted a combined total of a few hundred people, most of whom attended singing classes under the purview of People’s Association (PA) and/or Resident Committees (RCs). On top of it, the event(s) were held in the premises of SAFRA Jurong.

I think the public would like to know if PA/RC had any knowledge of a function being organized that gathered a few hundred people in an enclosed air-conditioned environment. The attendees of this function were part of the PA/RC singing classes.If PA/RC were not in the dark, what happened to the oft-touted social responsibility advocated by our government in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus?

As a grassroots body, where is the “lead by example” approach? Why hadn’t SAFRA Jurong erred on the side of caution given the scale of the function in question when DORSCON orange was already in place? Even private condominiums have ceased the booking of all function rooms and bbq facilities in a bid to do their part to contain the spread. The AOG Church which had originally planned for a function to be held on the 8 February, had made the socially responsible move of cancelling the event after the DORSCON alert was raised to orange.

This, to me, is a classic case of playing Russian Roulette on the part of the singing coach(es) and whoever was responsible for letting this event take place. Well, the suspense is over and unfortunately for the larger community and our medical workers, those who chose to play this risky game lost. We now have this SAFRA Jurong case as the second-largest cluster in Singapore. It is not a game we can afford to keep playing given our limited resources.

Yours faithfully,

Maurice Tay

/TISG

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