Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung calls on health workers to ‘pull through this difficult period’

SINGAPORE — Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has told healthcare workers in Singapore that his ministry and the workers’ management staff members will continue to do their best to support them “to pull through this difficult period”.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung during a visit to the Changi General Hospital.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung during a visit to the Changi General Hospital.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has told healthcare workers in Singapore that his ministry and the workers’ management staff members will continue to do their best to support them “to pull through this difficult period”.

In his message on Monday (Feb 21), Mr Ong said that the Government will “do whatever we can” to support the workers just as it has ensured that the healthcare workers “have priority to vaccines and boosters, spread out cases by leveraging Covid-19 treatment facilities and general practitioners, and implemented the difficult no-visitors policy”.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) released the message to the media on Tuesday, as it urged the public not to further strain the healthcare system with Singapore reporting a daily high of more than 26,000 Covid-19 cases for the day.

“To help further reduce patient loads, in the coming days, we will push out public messages to encourage those with mild symptoms to recover from home, and for employers to not require medical certificates from workers infected with Covid-19,” Mr Ong added in his message.

“At the request of the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union, sick leave of healthcare workers can be recorded as hospitalisation leave during this period. For our foreign colleagues, we will also be starting a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with the Philippines soon, and restoring the VTL quota with India.”

Mr Ong also said that the authorities are mobilising the healthcare volunteer corps and sought help from the Singapore Armed Forces to help address manpower shortages.

In recent days, Mr Ong had visited various healthcare institutions such as Changi General Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

From the public’s point of view, they need to know that Omicron poses less of a risk. That way, they can respond to the infection wave calmly, recovering from home when their symptoms are mild, instead of rushing to the hospitals.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung

He noted that the healthcare workers’ workload has been heavy, but stressed that MOH and the multi-ministerial task force handling the pandemic here will need to continue to explain to the public that the Omicron coronavirus strain is less severe than the Delta one.

“From the public’s point of view, they need to know that Omicron poses less of a risk. That way, they can respond to the infection wave calmly, recovering from home when their symptoms are mild, instead of rushing to the hospitals.”

Singapore will have to deal with an Omicron transmission wave “so long as we hope to regain our normal lives”, Mr Ong continued.

Touching on why the task force streamlined infection control measures here, he said that the “micro rules really do not make a difference to the pandemic at this stage”.

“Instead, we want to focus the public on the key measures that can still help flatten the transmission wave, namely group sizes, masking and vaccination-differentiated measures. That is why we have not made any changes to these rules. For the rest, we should streamline them.”

Singapore should see the number of Covid-19 cases fall “even rapidly” in the coming few weeks.

He added: “With each day, our society becomes stronger and we move closer to normalcy. So hang in there for a while more. It is no longer light at the end of tunnel, but barring unforeseen circumstances, it is something within our grasp.

“Please convey our thanks to your family members and loved ones too, for supporting you through these difficult times. Take care, and thank you.”

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus MOH Ong Ye Kung healthcare workers Hospital Omicron

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.