Coronavirus: More help for vulnerable groups to be given through President's Challenge

President Halimah Yacob said that the targeted groups would include the elderly.
President Halimah Yacob said that the targeted groups would include the elderly.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

YOGYAKARTA - President Halimah Yacob herself has personally requested that additional aid be given to vulnerable groups to help them protect themselves from the coronavirus.

They will receive hand sanitisers and face masks, and groups like Youth Corps Singapore will step up outreach efforts to raise awareness of how they can better protect themselves, Madam Halimah told reporters on the last day of her state visit to Indonesia on Thursday (Feb 6).

This aid will come from the President's Challenge (PC), an annual fund-raiser for the less fortunate.

"I have asked my PC team to look at how to galvanise some of the resources under the PC in order for us to help to support some targeted groups," she said, adding that these groups would include the elderly.

On Wednesday (Feb 5), the Government announced four more confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total number of people infected in Singapore to 28.

Among the local transmission cases - where the patients had no recent travel history to Wuhan or China - was a 44-year-old Indonesian domestic worker of a earlier confirmed case.

Acknowledging that Indonesians were worried for the woman, Madam Halimah gave assurances that she is being given "the best medical care possible" in Singapore.

The Government is currently doing contact tracing of all the people whom she had contact with, the President added.

While it is understandable that Singaporeans are concerned about the escalating coronavirus situation, Madam Halimah urged: "The last thing we need to do is to panic. We should not panic because if we start panicking, then I think it becomes very counter-productive."


Instead, she urged every citizen to do his part by practising good hygiene habits and taking care of their family by making sure they protect themselves too.

This echoed her words on Tuesday (Feb 4) in Jakarta, where she met Indonesia-based Singaporeans and urged Singaporeans to not be "paralysed by fear" and to balance their worries with the need to continue their normal lives.