Photo Credits: The Straits Times
Written by Jong Ching Yee

What happened?

As South Korea and Italy overtake Singapore in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) may lower the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level according to latest reports.

In early February, MOH raised the DORSCON level from yellow to orange which caused panic among Singaporeans. Citizens formedlong queues for the limited number of masks and many hurried to supermarkets to stock up on basic necessities such as rice, noodles and toilet paper. 

As of 27 February, Singaporean authorities confirmed more than 90 cases, with 66 discharged and eight still in critical condition.  However, South Korea is battling an even bigger outbreak, with the number of infected rising exponentially. At the moment, more than 1700 South Koreans have been infected and President Moon Jae-in is facing a huge backlash over the government’s mishandling of the situation


What has Singapore been doing to control the outbreak?

Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong suggested that the DORSCON level may be lowered if the virus continues to spread around the world and travel restrictions are no longer useful. 

In addition to travel restrictions on visitors from China, Singapore will also be imposing the guidelines on those who have been to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea. These two cities are believed to be the epicentres of the outbreak in the East Asia country.

In his press conference, Mr Gan explained: “Similarly as we move forward, we may adjust some of our measures downwards, some of the restrictions we have put in place, we may decide to lift them if the situation is more stable.” 

In lieu of the situation, schools have been forced to halt many activities such as the National School Games, which has been postponed until the end of the March school holidays. Universities have also been advised to implement e-learning for classes with more than 50 students and temperature taking is made mandatory for all. Readers, don’t forget to do temperature taking!

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