Ministerial taskforce on coronavirus

Singapore’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been a massive failure: the result speaks for itself. The country saw a 300% increase since March and it has become a case study for both epidemiologists and historians on how not to handle a virus outbreak.

1) Singapore lets infected people roam the streets

Infected cases with mild symptoms were not detected early, and they have been rejected from GP clinics not once or twice, but to 5 times. Travel details of those infected, like which restaurant they were dining at or which gym they visited, were covered up, exposing strangers to the virus.

2) Singapore tells healthy people not to wear a mask

There is nothing more nefarious than to alleviate the shortage of face masks in the country, than to tell the people not to wear basic protection in public. More than 50 cases have been infected from unknown links, and Singapore’s overcrowded public transport is the primary culprit. More than 90% of the people in Singapore do not wear a mask when they are outside, but this is a result of a severe mask shortage.

We only need to compare Singapore’s infection to countries which actively promotes wearing face masks like Taiwan and Macau. Even China made it illegal for anyone to not wear a mask in public, and today, they just reported zero domestic case for two days straight.

3) Singapore refuse to acknowledge local transmission is widespread

Due to stringent media censorship, Singapore lack independent press media to tell the ugly truth. The Singapore government has been using the state media to spread propaganda, and one of them is the claim that local transmission is rare and uncommon. The number of locally infected with unknown links proved otherwise.

The bigger repercussion is when foreigners started contracting the virus while holidaying in Singapore, and export the virus back to their home country – as in the case of South Korea, UK, France and Malaysia.

To make things worse, the Singapore government pinned all the blame on “imported cases”. Government propaganda is ramping out baseless claims that most confirmed cases are imported, hence there is little to worry about local infections. This resulted in delayed government responses, like border controls and school closures, which the government did not see the need to effect.

4) Singapore refuse to stop mass congregation

The Singapore government has yet to impose closures on schools and workplaces, both bedrocks of infections. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is even considering holding the General Election in the middle of the outbreak, when voting stations and rallying points are common places of mass congregation.

The Education Minister even did the reverse of what 90% of the world is doing, by claiming that putting children in schools is safer than keeping them away. The millionaire minister even claimed that children are less likely to be in mortal danger when infected, because of statistics. He however forgot that if children are infected, it means the spread is even more viral.

5) Singapore censors information of public concerns

Flight information, profiles, ages, nationalities and even locations of the infected have all been fully censored by the Singapore Ministry of Health. Even foreign ministries requesting for information have been rejected by Singapore, as confirmed by the Indonesia government.

With less information, everyone in Singapore is now more likely to be infected as they do not where to avoid or even flag themselves as potential close contacts of the infected. You could be sitting next to an infected passenger on the same plane, or you could be a regular customer of a barber who has been infected, but you won’t know because the Singapore government has censored these information.

On top of untrusted state media content, the Singapore government also actively issues censorship orders to independent news sites. Using its newly-created POFMA order, the government has on 7 occasions, threaten to jail anyone up to 2 years and a S$100,000 fine, if they do not put up “government facts”.

6) Singapore pays corrupt money to get professionals to praise its virus response

Dale Fisher, the Chairman of the World Health Organisation’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, has been featured in local state media praising the Singapore government for their virus response. The WHO executive was then given a luxurious directorship at the National University Hospital.

Ruling party politicians then uses these fake praises to claim that the government has done well in the outbreak, which statistically is untrue. The Singapore government also actively boasts about contact tracing using police resources – which is nothing new and actually what every country is doing.

Alex Tan
STR Editor