SG Clean Taskforce Aims For All Singaporeans To Improve Cleanliness By Changing Social Norms

It has already been established that environmental contamination is a big factor in the spread of Covid-19, but the virus is easily killed by disinfection.

Thus, it makes sense that regular and thorough cleaning of areas that are heavily frequented by the public will help in containing the spread.

To that end, a new taskforce will be actively striving for a cleaner, more hygienic Singapore that will be well-protected against diseases like Covid-19, reported The Straits Times.

The setting up of the new inter-ministry SG Clean Taskforce was announced by its head, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, on Friday (6 Mar).

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Cleanliness benchmarks to be set, Government to ensure they are adhered to

As part of the plan, those in charge of public places must adhere to government benchmarks for cleanliness that will be set, and be faithful in keeping up these standards.

The Government, on its part, will conduct audits of these places to make sure standards are maintained, for example in the area of public toilets, which have to be clean and dry, and stocked with soap.

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Everybody has to play a part in creating a new norm

However, it’s not just the job of the Government and managements of public spaces to keep our surroundings clean.

Referring to a “new norm” of cleanliness and hygiene, Mr Masagos was quoted by Yahoo News as stressing that individuals must also do their bit to make high cleanliness standards a way of life — even beyond the current Covid-19 outbreak:

We don’t know how long Covid-19 will last, but we’re entering a new situation, a new normal… This must be where we enhance public hygiene and keeping clean environments become an integral part of our lives.

Gaining new habits

Ordinary folks can do this by picking up new habits and stopping bad habits, for example:

  • washing hands often and with soap — especially after using the toilet or being in contact with frequently used surfaces
  • sharing food with serving spoons instead of dipping your used cutlery into a common plate
  • using trays when eating, returning your trays in public dining places and keeping your table clean
  • throwing away your used tissue paper instead of leaving them around for cleaners to dispose of
  • taking your temperature frequently
  • not going out when you’re sick

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Other efforts to raise cleanliness standards

This is the latest effort by the Government to raise cleanliness standards since launching the SG Clean campaign on Feb 16.

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An amendment to the Environmental Health Act was also announced on Wednesday (4 Mar).

With the change, owners of public spaces will be held responsible for their sanitation, appointing personnel to map out and monitor plans to clean and disinfect areas regularly, keeping records of such efforts.

This includes areas that are less exposed to the public eye, like loading and unloading bays and garbage collection spaces.

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Something positive from the Covid-19 outbreak: Better hygiene

If there’s something positive that has come out of the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s a greater awareness of personal hygiene among ordinary people in Singapore.

What’s positive about the new taskforce is it’s trying to inculcate good hygiene habits into everybody, such that we will hopefully see a general improvement in the health of the population even after the outbreak is over.

We hope that people will be able to keep on practicing good habits in the future, so Singapore can truly have a culture of cleanliness.

Featured image adapted from Facebook