The workers, who would be required to go on a 14-day leave of absence when they return to Singapore, make up less than 1 per cent of the work force here, said Mrs Teo.
According to straitstimes.com, on Sunday (Feb 2), Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on Sunday said that there are around 30,000 Chinese nationals with work passes who have not yet returned to Singapore after leaving for China during the Chinese New Year holiday.
Given the newly implemented 14-day mandatory leave of absence for people with a recent travel history to China, put in place by the Government as a counter-measure to the Wuhan virus outbreak, Mrs. Teo advised Singaporeans not to make the mandatory leave any harder for those required to take it. Reminding people that ostracism is unnecessary as those taking the leave are “by and large…not unwell,” she reminded people that “The reason we have introduced this leave of absence requirement is to take extra precautions, and this is to minimise social contact. But we must be mindful that as we take these precautions we must be supportive of the people who are affected,” she said.
This recent effort to prevent the spread of the virus within Singapore by mandating all people with a travel history to mainland China within the past 14 days to take a 2-week leave of absence from work as a quarantine measure has elicited a mix of responses from both Government figures and the public.
On Sunday (February 2), Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing drew from Singapore’s previous experience with the deadly SARS outbreak. “During the worst of the SARS crisis the best of Singaporeans came through; we took care of each other, sent meals to those under quarantine, shared our supplies and medical resources – that’s how we overcame the crisis together,” he said, at a time when reports of ostracising behavior had made it to the news.
However, despite these reminders and the call to kindness and solidarity, many netizens still express their scepticism towards this as they feel that the quarantine measure is not enough.
However, though most comments were skeptical about the precautionary measure, some were a bit more supportive of the effort.
Despite the different reactions, the 14-day mandatory leave for people who have had a history of traveling to mainland China in the past two weeks is still being implemented.
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