Wuhan virus: WP, SDP, PSP warn about rumours, call on Singaporeans to stay united

A woman wearing a mask near the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on Jan 28, 2020. The Workers' Party has called for Singaporeans to stay united, remain calm and to heed instructions from the various ministries. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party on Tuesday (Jan 28) called on Singaporeans to stay united, remain calm and heed instructions from the various ministries as Singapore grapples to contain the spread of the Wuhan virus, which has infected seven people here.

In a statement posted on its website, the opposition party described the novel coronavirus outbreak as "serious and concerning", and expressed its full support for the multi-ministry task force set up to handle the situation.

It urged Singaporeans to heed instructions, especially from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Manpower, and the Ministry of Education.

It also urged people to avoid fear-mongering by speculating or spreading rumours online.

"If you have any doubts, please refer to official announcements or news from major news outlets," said the party.

The party also thanked those working on the frontlines at Singapore's borders and healthcare institutions.

It said: "The Workers' Party thanks all of them for their efforts and sacrifices, and we stand behind them in this nation-wide effort to tackle the coronavirus."

Individuals also can play their part by staying vigilant and taking the necessary precautions, the party said.

"This includes maintaining good personal hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently with soap, and avoiding crowded places. We also urge everyone to follow the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health. If you feel unwell, seek medical attention immediately."

The sentiments were echoed by Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock and the Singapore Democratic Party on Wednesday (Jan 29).

In a Facebook post, Dr Tan said the outbreak was a national issue: "We must work together regardless of political affiliations. All of us should join forces with MOH (Ministry of Health) and other government agencies to combat this virus."

Meanwhile, the SDP said on its Facebook page that Singaporeans should "refrain from manufacturing fake news and spreading rumours about the Coronavirus that is spreading in Singapore and around the world. Alarming the public through such misinformation only harms our community and ourselves."

It added: "We also commend efforts of the authorities in promptly notifying the public of confirmed cases and their contact histories. It is important that the public continues to receive timely and detailed information on cases under surveillance. This will be an effective way to reduce rumours proliferating."

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