NCID clinical director: More deaths if people flout measures, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NCID clinical director: More deaths if people flout measures

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NCID clinical director warns nation as S'pore reports 386 new cases

More will die if people here continue to flout the circuit breaker measures intended to counter the spread of the coronavirus, said the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) clinical director yesterday.

Dr Shawn Vasoo's warning comes as the number of cases continues to climb, nearly a week into Singapore's shutdown of non-essential services and stricter social distancing rules.

Singapore reported 386 new cases yesterday, bringing the total to 2,918.

Nine have died here so far from complications due to Covid-19. (See report below.)

The recent spike in locally transmitted cases have largely been linked to dormitories.

But there have also been reports of Singaporeans ignoring safe distancing measures and continuing to exercise in groups, queue too closely to others and gather with those outside their household.

More than 400 fines have been issued over the last two days to those found to have breached the rules.

Dr Vasoo said people are not taking the pandemic seriously enough and appealed to them to be more socially responsible.

"The attitude of some members of the public is lackadaisical. More people are going to die, and unfortunately this includes more Singaporeans too, if they do not adhere to the circuit breaker," he said.

He called for people to stay at home and to wear a mask when they leave for essential work and are unable to avoid close contact with others.


"Please exercise social and moral responsibility... this is not the time to hang out and congregate with others," he said.

Dr Vasoo also urged members of the public to learn how to use reusable masks properly in order to provide "some basic protection" for themselves.

This means cleaning and drying the mask when it gets moist, as its filtration efficacy drops when it is in this condition, and learning how to take it off properly without contaminating one's hands.

Stricter safe distancing enforcement measures that kicked in on Sunday, including fines for first offences, appear to be having some effect.

The authorities said that crowds at places such as wet markets and neighbourhood centres have thinned significantly, as more heed the call to stay home.

The National Parks Board said yesterday that most of the parks and gardens it manages have seen low to moderate visitorship levels since the stricter rules took effect last week.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post last night that the remaining three weeks of Singapore's circuit breaker forms "a critical window that will determine if we can successfully flatten the curve, prevent large-scale community spread, and save our loved ones".