Singapore – “We urge residents not to panic,” said Dr Paul Tambyah in response to a recent news report stating nearly 100 past infections were linked to the Bukit Panjang cluster.
Opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Chairman Dr Tambyah took to Facebook on Sunday (August 9) to urge Bukit Panjang residents and those living in the surrounding areas not to be alarmed by a Straits Times front-page report stating “Active case finding uncovered evidence of nearly 100 past infections among people linked to the Bukit Panjang cluster.”
Dr Tambyah, who is also the President-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID), urged residents not to panic as Singapore’s public health authorities are “amongst the world’s leaders in experience and expertise in terms of using serological testing to identify contacts and clusters of COVID-19 infection.”
He gave the example of how serological testing identified past infections which allowed authorities to link previously unlinked church clusters in early March, thus rapidly shutting down the chains of transmission. “We are confident that similar results will be achieved with the recent cases linked with the Bukit Panjang Transport hub identified by serological testing,” said Dr Tambyah.
Meanwhile, he encouraged the residents to continue practising good hand hygiene and to seek medical attention if unwell. “If anyone has acute respiratory symptoms or sudden loss of smell and taste, you should go to one of the PHPC (Pandemic Health Preparedness Clinics) where you can get tested for COVID-19 under the SASH (“Swab and Send Home”) program,” he noted.
For those who are seeking medical attention at a clinic or hospital, Dr Tambyah suggests letting the attending healthcare staff know if anyone within the household had spent some time at the Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub. Dr Tambyah and the SDP urged all Singaporeans to pay attention to all Ministry of Health guidelines and recommendations.
Furthermore, “The Singapore government also needs to be transparent with the public about testing results and other strategies to contain the spread of the virus,” he added. “We are confident that the people of Singapore will be able to succeed in this challenge.”
Members from the online community thanked Dr Tambyah for the instructions and advice, noting “he should be the Health Minister” as he was “giving better advice than the task force.”
Many residents of Bukit Panjang and its surrounding areas may have been alarmed by the report on the front page of the…