Forum: Do more to curb socially irresponsible behaviour to stem virus spread

I refer to the comments by Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force tackling Covid-19, that the Government is considering whether additional measures are necessary to ensure the incidence of infection remains under control (More measures may be needed to tackle rising Covid-19 cases: Minister, Jan 19).

These measures, if necessary, should be more specific than general. It is unfair to levy restrictions on the public because of a few irresponsible individuals' actions. This also discourages those who have been socially responsible.

These specific measures could take a more hardline stance towards socially irresponsible behaviour.

For instance, it could be made mandatory for individuals who have reason to believe they may have Covid-19 to seek medical attention quickly or to avoid going to work. These measures can then be given teeth with criminal sanctions.

This approach would be fairer in separating socially responsible behaviour from that which is not.

With the deterrent effect of criminal sanctions, socially irresponsible behaviour would be more effectively curbed.

This kind of behaviour has no place in a global pandemic, and our laws should reflect this.

Edward Nicholas Ong