Parliament: Govt response to coronavirus outbreak will be reviewed after the crisis, says Lawrence Wong

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that the Government should stay focused for now on the "urgent priorities" ahead.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that the Government should stay focused for now on the "urgent priorities" ahead.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - When the time is right, the Government will comprehensively review the Covid-19 pandemic and its overall response to it - not just in terms of the outbreak in the dormitories, but the entire crisis from start to finish. This will help it learn and improve, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Monday (May 4).

The Government has routinely done this each time after a crisis, he said in a ministerial statement in Parliament, noting that the lessons learnt from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2003 had helped a lot when dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

"But we are now still in the heat of battle," said Mr Wong, who said that the Government should stay focused for now on the "urgent priorities" ahead - bringing the outbreak under control on the two fronts, in the community and in the migrant worker dormitories, so that Singapore will be able to resume activities gradually.

He was responding to questions from Nominated MPs Walter Theseira and Anthea Ong, who had asked if the Government will appoint a committee of inquiry (COI) to investigate the causes of the Covid-19 outbreak among foreign workers in dormitories, identify the responsibility borne by the various stakeholders, and come up with policy reforms, among other things.

"When all this is over, we will certainly look back and learn from the experience," said Mr Wong, who gave his assurance that the Government wants to continue taking feedback and suggestions to improve, and review and learn from the Covid-19 experience.

"I have no doubt that we will find many things where we could have done better, and many changes that we should make to be better prepared the next time."