SINGAPORE - The country must not let its guard down even though the Covid-19 situation here is being managed well as Singapore is still affected by what is happening elsewhere in the world, President Halimah Yacob said on Wednesday (April 21).
She said Singapore's vaccination programme is progressing smoothly, but Singaporeans still need to continue practising safe distancing and other measures, which remain important.
Speaking during a visit to Changi General Hospital (CGH), Madam Halimah said that although vaccines are now available, the challenge facing nations, including Singapore, is in ensuring their fair and equitable distribution.
Every country is racing to vaccinate its population, the President noted, but no country will be truly protected until the global population is vaccinated.
"That is a challenge, not just for Singapore but globally as well: how to ensure fair, equitable distribution of vaccines so that not just we, individually, are able to feel safe, but also the whole world."
During the visit, Madam Halimah was given a tour of the Diabetes, Obesity, Metabolism and Endocrine (Dome) Centre at CGH's Medical Centre, which was launched in 2018.
The Dome Centre allows patients to see multiple specialists such as endocrinologists, surgeons and dietitians during a single visit if they need to do so, especially if they have more complex issues.
This cuts the waiting time between visits and allows patients to get more timely help.
The President was shown how the centre handles patients with such needs in person, and also how it makes use of telemedicine to engage with and monitor patients at home.
"The idea is basically to cater all the services around the patient, so patients with multiple chronic illnesses can get support and help across different medical specialities at one place," said Madam Halimah after the tour.
"I think this is a very good concept. You have integrated, holistic care that is multidisciplinary, across all the specialities, including teaching the patients how to keep themselves well through exercise, educating them about food intake and so on."
The President spoke to 23 of the hospital's healthcare workers during the visit and thanked them for their service.
"I can see that their spirits and their motivation are very high. They feel that they're doing very good, valuable work contributing to the needs of the community and doing their part in helping to deal with the crisis that we are in," said Madam Halimah.
"I wanted to show my appreciation and support for them, because they are the frontline workers, so they have to feel the brunt when we have cases involving patients with Covid-19."
As the visit took place during the month of Ramadan, which began on April 12 and ends on May 12, Madam Halimah also broke her fast with some of the hospital staff.