Covid-19 heroes get a boost

From bubble tea vouchers to care packs containing vitamins and snacks, several new initiatives have been rolled out to cheer on healthcare workers

During the pandemic, medical technologists here have been working round the clock in laboratories, hospitals and testing centres, risking their safety while handling Covid-19 samples.

Their work has helped the authorities to trace infected people and curb the spread of outbreaks.

To honour their efforts, Advanced MedTech Holdings, a home-grown global medical technology company, gave out masks and bubble tea vouchers to these workers in a campaign called Proud to Pipette.

At least 1,000 reusable masks, along with a QR code to redeem Koi bubble tea vouchers, were distributed from Aug 23 to Sept 3 to companies such as Parkway Laboratory Services, Innoquest Diagnostics, Pathnova Laboratories and Asia Genomics.

Among those who received the gifts was Mr Ng Boon Sing, an assistant production manager at medical supplies manufacturer Alliance BioMed who handles simulated Covid-19 virus particles as part of the testing for manufacturing polymerase chain reaction test kits.

Says the 33-year-old: "People often think of healthcare workers on the front line, but know little about the work that we do behind the scenes. The masks and the bubble tea vouchers are good cheer for us."

In another move to recognise health workers, more than 25,000 healthcare workers at hospitals here have been given complimentary one-year memberships to the Fuzzie Corporate Club.

The club offers discounts and privileges from more than 600 brands in Singapore, across categories such as food, wellness, fitness and groceries. The membership, which is worth $144 a year, was given free to employees at 11 healthcare institutions including National University Hospital (NUH), Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Farrer Park Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Dr Janice Lam, a consultant ophthalmologist at NUH, says she has used the app to redeem discounts on dining and massage deals.

"It's a useful and meaningful gift to healthcare workers. The special perks boost our morale and show that we are appreciated as we push on during the pandemic," says the 36-year-old.

In another initiative, by radio station Kiss92, front-line workers can call in with their stories in a radio segment called Kiss Of Life on the morning show titled Wake Up And Go With Div & Jo.

They can share their challenges, motivations and words of encouragement for other front-line workers. Listeners can also nominate a family member or friend who has been serving as a front-line worker and share stories from their perspective.

For instance, Ms Nur Sabrina, 33, wrote in to nominate her husband, who has been working as a swabber since June last year.

"It's a good platform for everyday Singaporeans to share how they have been fighting through the pandemic and may it inspire other front-line workers to not give up in their fight too," she says.

As part of the Kiss Of Life initiative, front-line workers who call in or are nominated will receive a hamper filled with snacks and drinks.

Kiss92 has also supported the efforts of national agency SportSG and national volunteerism movement Team Nila, to put together 25,000 care packs which contain antibacterial body wash, snacks, beverages and vitamins.

The packs were delivered between Aug 30 and Sept 8 to hospitals and polyclinics, as well as other front-line workers such as hawkers and safe distancing ambassadors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Covid-19 heroes get a boost'. Subscribe