S’pore Health Minister Blames Many Locally Transmitted Covid-19 Cases On Socially Irresponsible Behaviour

Have you ever been in a public space in the past couple of days only to hear someone coughing their lungs out?

You then suspiciously stare at them and can’t help but wonder if they have the COVID-19.

Image: Giphy

Well, your worries are not unfounded.

As it turns out, many of our confirmed cases in Singapore are due to some irresponsible individuals who insist on going out even while they’re sick.

Local Covid-19 Cases in S’pore Due To Irresponsible Behaviour

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Tuesday that many locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore “were the result of the socially irresponsible actions of a few individuals”.

This is because they had continued to attend events and activities even though they were ill.

Lest you’re unaware, members of the public need to avoid social contact and see a medical professional ASAP if you are feeling ill, unless you want to go around infecting everyone.

22% Of Confirmed Cases Continued To Work Despite Being Sick

A whopping 35 cases in Singapore didn’t minimise social contact even though they had already developed a fever and respiratory symptoms.

Either that or they didn’t see a doctor early into their illness.

In fact, more than a fifth (22%) continued to work or carried on with their everyday lives even though they were sick, according to Mr Gan.

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To really exemplify this, let’s look at some of the existing clusters.

Science Park Cluster

There were a total of 14 confirmed cases at Wizlearn Technologies. Out of this, nine were staff members.

Of these, three employees had continued to work and went about their everyday lives even though they felt sick.

One of the staff eventually infected his family contact with the virus, who also continued on with daily routines despite showing COVID-19 symptoms.

The result? Four more people were also infected with the coronavirus even though they didn’t work at Wizlearn Technologies.

Image: Giphy

SAFRA Jurong Cluster

The SAFRA Jurong cluster is the largest cluster in Singapore and is linked to a private dinner function.

There are currently 36 confirmed cases and most of them consist of the elderly.

One case who later tested positive had attended the dinner function on 15 February even though they were feeling unwell.

This later possibly resulted in as many as 18 people being infected with the COVID-19, aka, fellow event-goers who attended the dinner.

Of course, the cycle continues.

Out of these 18 who were infected, 10 of them continued with their daily routines which resulted in another 17 confirmed cases in people who didn’t even attend the dinner.

In light of many of the cases being spread by seniors, activities for seniors organised by government agencies will be suspended for 14 days from Wednesday.

More social distancing measures will be put into place as well in the future.

“We will look at a fuller range of social distancing measures we can put in place including for public events, community activities, school closures, workplace social distancing – including things like staggered hours, telecommuting – as well as religious services too. We will cover a broad spectrum and we will see what we should put in place,” said the Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong.

Do Not Doctor Hop

MOH also reminds the public not to doctor-hop.

This means that those who are sick should only visit the same doctor so that each doctor will be able to follow up with each case.

This way, it will be easier to ascertain whether a patient might need to be tested for the coronavirus.

We’re not bunnies. Please don’t doctor hop.

24% Of Cases Had Visited More Than 1 GP Clinic

Around 24% of the cases in Singapore or approximately 38 cases at the time of reporting had been to more than one General Practitioner (GP) clinic for consultation.

Out of this, as many as eight cases visited three or more GP clinics.

Source: Giphy

MOH also urges that Singaporeans be honest and transparent so that effective contact tracing can be done.

To do this, they need the “cooperation of individuals to provide comprehensive and truthful accounts about their activities when interviewed by its public officers as failing to do so would affect its ability to get in contact with others who may have been infected, delaying MOH’s ring-fencing of clusters.”

Social Responsibility

“This socially irresponsible behaviour poses a risk to all of us. The measures we have implemented will only work if individuals cooperate and behave in a socially responsible manner,” said Mr Gan.

Here is a not so gentle reminder that those who are not feeling well and have even minor flu-like symptoms should see a doctor and stay at home.

Doing this will go a long way in curbing the spread of the COVID-19.

To summarise:

  • Many locally transmitted cases were caused by individuals going about their day even though they’re sick.
  • 35 cases didn’t minimise social contact even though they had symptoms.
  • 22% still went to work though they were sick.
  • 24% doctor hopped and 8 cases visited three or more GPs.

You can also read more about the hairdresser who attended to 10 customers despite being ill here or the cai png hawker who continued working despite showing symptoms.

Situation In Singapore

As of 10 March, the total number of confirmed cases in Singapore now stands at 166. Of this, 93 have fully recovered and have been discharged.

The number of people in ICU is 12. The conditions of the remaining patients are stable or improving.

Stay safe everyone and please heed the government’s advice to stay home if you are sick.