Singaporeans must not be complacent in fight against coronavirus: President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob said the President's Challenge has been rallying its resources to help the vulnerable groups within the community to combat the disease outbreak.
President Halimah Yacob said the President's Challenge has been rallying its resources to help the vulnerable groups within the community to combat the disease outbreak.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans must not be complacent in the fight against the coronavirus which is spreading around the world, said President Halimah Yacob on Wednesday (Feb 26).

"We are seeing in a few countries, it has spread exponentially. So we cannot be complacent, we must always do our utmost to be on guard," she said during a visit to St Luke's Eldercare Centre in Ayer Rajah.

"While we continue with life, we cannot shut down ourselves and all our activities, but we must never be complacent. At the government level, community level, individual level, we all have a responsibility to contribute towards keeping the community safe, as well as ourselves and our families safe."

She added that the President's Challenge has been rallying its resources to help the vulnerable groups within the community to combat the disease outbreak.

For example, social enterprise Spic & Span, a finalist of the President's Challenge Social Enterprise Award last year, has provided free disinfection services to several social service agencies since the disease outbreak in January.

It has also provided free disinfection services to five of the 23 St Luke's Eldercare Centres, including the one in Ayer Rajah.

"Since the outbreak of Covid-19, I find it really heartwarming that there are many in the community that have rallied together to support and help others in the community, particularly those who are more vulnerable... That I think is important because it's not just the Government, the medical facilities doing the work, but individuals also taking responsibility and the communities supporting them," said President Halimah.

Spic & Span hires about 100 people, most of whom are marginalised and vulnerable Singaporeans such as former offenders and persons with disabilities.

Last year, it launched a proprietary antibacterial coating service known as Speco that disinfects and protects surfaces for up to six months, with the help of funding from the Government.



President Halimah Yacob speaking with Madam Rukiah Kadimin, (left) 76, as the housewife and Madam Patimah Sulong, 72, also a housewife, undergo physiotherapy at the Day Rehabilitation Centre in St Luke's ElderCare Centre on Feb 26, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Its founder, Mr Benjamin Chua, said that since the disease outbreak, his company has seen a spike in demand for its services.

 
 

"Most places do enhanced cleaning twice a day, but in between those two cleanings, there is no protection. Even the cloth that is being used to wipe down surfaces, the chances of cross-contamination are very high," said Mr Chua, 32.

"This technology that we have developed is like having someone wiping down your surfaces 24/7," he added.

The chief executive officer of St Luke's ElderCare, Associate Professor Kenny Tan, said it plans to engage Spic & Span to disinfect all its 23 centres.

He added that, since the disease outbreak, St Luke's ElderCare has modified some of its activities such as using video conferencing and keeping operations between centres separate.

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