Wuhan virus task force: Singapore's high-powered members

(From left) Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung at the press conference, on Jan 2
(From left) Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung at the press conference, on Jan 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: REI KUROHI

SINGAPORE - Announced last Wednesday (Jan 22), the multi-ministry task force set up to direct the Government's response to the Wuhan coronavirus comprises 10 members.

They include the majority of the fourth-generation leadership, in what some observers see as a major test handling a national challenge.

Advising the task force is Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who had earlier been chosen by his colleagues as their leader.

The members are:

Co-chair Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health

Co-chair Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Mr Ng Chee Meng, secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office

Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education

 
 
 
 

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development

Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Communications and Information

Here are some key quotes from a press conference held on Monday:

Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health: 

“The situation is rapidly evolving. We are carefully monitoring what is happening, and will institute more stringent measures as needed. We expect to see more suspect and even confirmed cases in time to come.”

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development:

“Let us not fall prey to false rumours or succumb to panic.”

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information:

“We must take swift action against such falsehoods. Otherwise, there is a grave risk that they will spread and cause panic among our citizens.”

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry:

“Our measures to help our businesses and enterprises can include reducing business costs, alleviating their cash flows and the retention of their workers.”

Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education:

“All in all, we are looking at five students who have visited the Hubei province in the past 14 days and a total of 892 students and staff who have visited China.”

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources:

“(We have) a set of interim guidelines, which include the right cleaning agents to use, the kind of surfaces that should be targeted and how often the cleaning and disinfection needs to be done.”

Mr Ng Chee Meng, secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office:  

“We urge all workers to take personal charge of their own health.” 

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs:

“Life must go on. Businesses must continue to operate, and our workers must be able to go to work.”

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development: 

“Of 180,000 preschool children in Singapore, our early estimates from operators are that around 1,000 children would have returned from China. And that is the scale, which we believe is manageable.”