Forum: Not business as usual and all must play a part

Singapore is again having to meet the challenges of the ever-wily coronavirus, this time with multiple open clusters, including a major hospital one.

After the dormitory situation petered out, we have been very fortunate, without any major blips until now. We cannot take things for granted, and we remain vulnerable so long as Covid-19 rages around the world.

This time around, the virus has likely changed its game, with variants that could be more infectious and with higher reinfection risks.

We, as a community, must keep up and be several steps ahead of the virus in this deadly game.

Members of the community should not be complacent and must be extra vigilant with regard to hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing. It is certainly not business as usual.

Please be strict with mask use, and wear masks properly. Do not wear them mainly on the chin, exposing the nose, and dispose of masks appropriately.

Members of the public should not remove their masks in hospital clinical areas, and there should not be any latitude for consuming food or drinks in these settings. Visitors must not endanger their family members or others.

Avoid crowds, especially in busy malls and night spots, refrain from multiple social encounters, and avoid talking loudly in closed settings. Covid-19 is most transmissible in closed quarters and more transmissible strains will be far less forgiving.

Meeting outdoors mitigates the risk, but beware of crowding in parks.

Some cases have broken through in those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine, but this is not unexpected, given that no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

But please note that good science has shown that the current vaccines employed locally provide excellent protection against serious illness and death from Covid-19.

Anyone who is eligible should be vaccinated.

Let us not be laissez-faire. Together we can and should all play our part in mitigating this latest challenge.

Asok Kurup (Dr)

On behalf of the Chapter of Infectious Disease Physicians

Academy of Medicine, Singapore