Step up efforts to educate public on hygiene

File photo of market goers and hawkers learning proper hand washing techniques at Yuhua Village Market.
File photo of market goers and hawkers learning proper hand washing techniques at Yuhua Village Market. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Anecdotally, I seem to find more people falling ill with each flu season, and many more lamenting that the viruses are getting stronger.

I was part of the team that first responded to the Sars crisis more than 10 years ago, and I am not surprised if these suspicions are true.

Only two out of 10 people seem to wash their hands with soap when they visit public toilets.

I have even seen food handlers from established eateries heading back to their workplaces without washing their hands with soap, right after a visit to the public toilets.

Supermarket staff are often seen placing food products on the dirty floor when they clean the shelves.

Parents do not think much about sending their sick children to schools or childcare.

Most people do not seem to think it is necessary to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and the wearing of masks is uncommon here.

Good hygiene practices take time to cultivate, and I fear it will be too late if we wait for the next community outbreak before we start educating our people.

Perhaps the relevant authority should intensify their educational efforts.

Jacqueline Lim Cheng Mui (Ms)