S’pore Covid-19 Cases May Be High Because Of Efficient Detection, Says Local Disease Expert

Singapore Reportedly Has A High Number Of Coronavirus Cases Because We Identify Them Quickly

Despite being a small country, the number of coronavirus cases in Singapore is alarmingly high. If you don’t count the cruise ship off Japan’s coast with nearly 200 infections, we’re the population with the third highest number of infections.

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Hong Kong, which is closer to China, currently surpasses us by only 2 cases.

The numbers may seem shocking, but experts have pointed out in interviews with South China Morning Post (SCMP) that it could be due to a number of reasons.

Read on to see what they’ve said.

Proactive government and effective measures

Singapore’s government has consistently been taking action against the novel coronaviurs or Covid-19, implementing progressive measures as the situation develops.

We started by suspending all incoming flights from mainland China and placing travellers from there under quarantine.

Next, schools cancelled large gatherings, and the government reminded all of us to wash our hands whenever we can.

Now, with DORSCON Orange, companies are trying out alternative work arrangements and more stringent health screenings are in full swing at most public places.

Image courtesy of AFP

We’re actively stepping up our precautionary measures and looking for cases, too.

Upon detection of a potential case, authorities waste no time in tracing close contacts of the patient and instructing them to stay indoors.

Efficient contact tracing has helped the Ministry of Health (MOH) to identify possible clusters, and curb the spread where necessary.

Full government support for all

Mr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious disease expert at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, told SCMP that he believed people have been responsible enough to seek medical help the moment they feel unwell.

He credited the accountability to people’s trust in the government, as well as incentives available to those who comply with protocol.

Some of the incentives he mentioned include monetary compensation for workers under quarantine, and free treatment for coronavirus patients.

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Mr Leong told SCMP that no one is “short changed at all” if they end up under quarantine. He also commented that,

Essentially, it is a get-out-of-jail-free card… the idea is to draw every [potential] case out into the open and get tested.

Since the government is doing its best to support residents throughout the crisis, Mr Leong believes there’s nothing stopping people from seeking the medical attention they need.

This willingness subsequently helps healthcare staff to identify suspected cases more easily.

Singapore has sufficient resources in coronavirus fight

Following reports of grocery hoarding and shoppers wiping supermarket shelves clean, the government has assured citizens that supplies are more than sufficient.

On top of basic necessities, quarantine facilities for suspect cases are also enough.

Referencing the Ministry of National Development (MND), SCMP reported that the 1,000-capacity government quarantine facilities currently house only 370 people, meaning there’s extra space to accommodate any incoming cases.

Ready to manage the outbreak

Evidently, Singapore is handling the coronavirus outbreak fairly well.

We do have a seemingly large number of cases, but we shouldn’t panic over that. With the precautions we’re taking as a country, rising above the coronavirus is possible.

We survived SARS almost 20 years go. Learning from that and with better resources available today, hopefully we can overcome the Covid-19 too.

Featured image adapted from Business Insider Singapore

Lucia Ng

Lucia only ever eats noodles and lives off bubble tea and coffee. She has no chill, ever, and loves sitcoms a little too much.