Forum: Support front-line workers beyond vaccination, set up donation fund

As Singapore heads towards phase three and we reopen our borders for travel and business, it is imperative that we take special care of the front-line workers - medical and service personnel, cleaners and migrant workers, among so many others - who take outsize risks for the benefit of us all (S'pore to begin phase 3 on Dec 28; and Free, voluntary vaccinations for all S'poreans, long-term residents, both Dec 15).

There was the recent case of a Changi Airport cleaner who contracted Covid-19, as well as a marine worker who may have picked up the virus after boarding ships to perform repair work. These are the people, often low-wage workers, who bear a large proportion of the risks of reopening so that businesses in Singapore can thrive again.

The Government has done the right thing by putting front-line workers ahead of the queue for vaccination, but we must support these workers beyond vaccination. To this end, I recommend setting up a government-run donation fund to support such workers.

Every enterprise that benefits from the reopening of our borders or the relaxation of controls should be strongly encouraged to donate to this fund.

The proceeds of this fund can be used to offset medical expenses incurred by front-line workers, or to support them financially in times of retrenchment.

Ng E-Jay

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