PM Lee Makes Surprise Covid-19 Address To Nation On Good Friday

While Christians across Singapore commemorated a quiet Good Friday in their homes, a backdrop of concern descended upon the nation, with last night’s highest daily spike in 287 new Covid-19 cases — of which more than half were linked to migrant workers’ dormitories.

Workers’ dormitory conditions were also brought to the fore, as alleged pictures of their meals went viral on social media.

To reassure Singaporeans on the impact of these new case numbers, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong released a surprise Covid-19 address on Friday (10 Apr) at 5.30pm on Facebook.

You can view his video message here in full. We’ll summarise the key points after the jump.

Government anticipated spike in Covid-19 cases

PM Lee first addressed the matter of the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases on 9 Apr, assuring the nation that the rise was “anticipated” in advance by the government.

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He proceeded to outline “comprehensive” measures to help curb the spread of Covid-19 within workers’ dormitories — of which at least 4 local clusters have emerged.

Urgent taskforce set up to help migrant workers

Next, he announced that an urgent taskforce has been set up — commanded by Singapore Armed Force’s (SAF’s) Chief Guards Officer Brigadier-General Seet Uei Lim.

SAF and Home Team have also been mobilised to help with the logistics of moving affected migrant workers to better housing, as they serve their Stay Home Notices or quarantine orders.

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Conditions at workers’ dorms are also being looked into, and will be improved as soon as possible. In PM Lee’s words,

We will provide them with the medical care & treatment that they need.

He shared that migrant workers will get the food, water and WiFi that they need to live comfortably and stay in touch with their loved ones back home.

Please take ‘Circuit Breaker’ seriously

PM Lee explained that the spike in Covid-19 cases tracked by MOH was probably due to an earlier outbreak within dormitories before ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures were implemented.

This means that we should all take the tightened safe-distancing and stay home notices seriously.

He urged senior citizens to stay at home for their own safety, as they are more vulnerable to suffering from complications if they get infected.

In his words,

I’m one of you, so I know how you feel.

If you have to venture outdoors, wear a mask

If getting groceries will be tough, PM Lee requested that elderly citizens ask their loved ones to help.

In the event that Singaporeans need to leave the house, he shared that wearing a mask and observing a safe distance from others is the responsible thing to do.

Compliance may mean lifting the ‘Circuit Breaker’ earlier

Besides acknowledging the sacrifices of our frontline workers, PM Lee spoke about how he empathises with how “inconvenient” the ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures may feel.

However, compliance with the new rules may help us contain the spread of Covid-19 and thus allow the government to lift the ‘Circuit Breaker’ earlier.

PM Lee addresses nation in 3 languages again

Many Singaporeans have expressed their appreciation for PM Lee’s efforts to assure citizens that the Covid-19 outbreak remains under control.

His Facebook video messages – uploaded in 3 languages again – quickly went viral & clocked 6.7k shares within an hour.

You may watch his message in Malay and Mandarin here respectively.

Stay home & stay safe

Since PM Lee has explained how we can do our part to comply with stay home advisories, the onus lies on all of us to respond to the call responsibly.

Adhering to all of the ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures, may also mean that these inconvenient policies won’t be prolonged in the foreseeable future.

Our closest neighbour Malaysia’s national lockdown is expected to extend for 2 more weeks and should serve as a cautionary example to our nation.

Now, more than ever, we have to rely on each other to comply with regulations — to limit the spread and keep our loved ones safe.

Featured image adapted from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Facebook.