Singapore – “It’s been a tough period for many, but particularly hard for the staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH),” wrote Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in social media on Friday (May 7), highlighting the “distressing” cases of discrimination against TTSH staff amid the growing cluster of Covid-19 cases that emerged from the hospital.
Some TTSH staff have reported instances of discrimination, with one noting on Twitter that her rides booked through ride-hailing services were cancelled by drivers repeatedly after they see that her destination was TTSH.
Another mentioned how people would stay away if she wore her hospital uniform on the MRT.
“People are understandably fearful, but it no less distressing to see,” said Mr Lee regarding such instances.
“For a year plus, all of us have been fighting Covid-19 in one way or another, and because we all worked together, our situation has steadily improved. We cannot let setbacks divide us or wear us down because if we lose our unity, the virus has won.”
A member of the public took to Instagram under the username @iamkennethlee on Thursday (May 6) to highlight the issue, noting that such discriminatory comments did exist.
“He (TTSH staff member that tweeted) mentioned the stark comparison of the public hailing TTSH healthcare workers as heroes one year ago but now blaming them as the cause for the ‘inconvenient’ measures being implemented,” shared the concerned individual.
While in total disbelief at first, @iamkennethlee “found such comments to exist” after perusing social media.
“On top of being totally stretched at work because of Covid-19, they are facing other newfound grievances,” he noted.
“After a long shift at work, they can’t get home because their private-hire rides get rejected. After involuntarily skipping meal breaks, they stay hungry because food deliveries keep getting cancelled.”
While expressing concern about possible exposure, “we don’t have to be jerks about it and perpetuate such harmful comments”, said the individual.
“A little kindness and empathy go a long way in helping these heroes keep at what they’re doing. And if that helps with our country’s recovery, we should be all for it,” added @iamkennethlee.
In his post, Mr Lee also mentioned how some have stepped up to support TTSH staff. Some businesses are offering promotions in favour of TTSH personnel.
“If you have some words of encouragement for loved ones in TTSH (staff or patient), please send TTSH a Facebook private message, which they will deliver on your behalf. Your thoughtful gesture will cheer them up and urge them on,” said Mr Lee./TISG
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