Forum: Key to stay united in fight against Covid-19

It has been an eventful 11 weeks since the first Covid-19 case was diagnosed in Singapore. In the past week, we faced the challenge of a "second wave" from returning Singaporeans who may have contracted Covid-19 overseas. The Government has further tightened measures.

When healthcare workers and resources are overwhelmed, deaths will escalate.

We need each and every one of us in Singapore to understand how the coronavirus spreads, to exercise physical distancing and to observe good personal hygiene, if we are to ever break the chain of transmission.

Healthcare workers in general appreciate all the different forms of support from the public.

However, a recent event has dismayed us. A release by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on March 26 reported on a healthcare worker, with enough details that made her identifiable.

In addition, several netizens on social media made unjust and unkind comments that were highly inappropriate, irrelevant, and even threatening to this healthcare worker.

The Singapore Medical Association firmly believes that we have only one common enemy - the Covid-19 disease.

The current measures in place are aimed at reducing the spread. Different sectors and various individuals may have their own thoughts on how best to combat the virus.

We urge everyone to contribute in a meaningful fashion, in intelligent discourse. Speculation and ranting online only fuel rumours and fear and benefit no one.

There is a fine balance between public interest and public curiosity. The Infectious Diseases Act serves to protect the population.

We trust the MOH to persevere in its pursuit of competence in governance and contact tracing as much as we trust doctors and nurses to look after the patients.

For the rest of us, let's remain truly united, in the fight against Covid-19, our common enemy.

Lee Yik Voon (Dr)
President
Singapore Medical Association