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Pandemic has united Singapore, fostered community spirit: Report

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Public service report recognises partnership between Government and people in fight against coronavirus

The Covid-19 pandemic may have forced Singaporeans to isolate themselves at home and keep a safe distance from one another, but it has also united the community in unprecedented ways, said a report on how Singapore has fared in various areas.

Since the virus hit Singapore's shores in January, individuals and businesses have joined hands with public agencies to help those affected by the crisis.

This partnership between the Government and the people has been a bright spot amid the gloom, with head of the civil service Leo Yip saying yesterday: "It highlights Singaporeans' strong spirit of care and concern for one another as well as how working together has enabled us to serve those in need and overcome this crisis as one."

The biennial Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review report takes stock of how the public sector and Singapore have fared in areas of national interest.

The latest report highlighted a number of key themes, among them Singapore's response to the pandemic.

Statistics show that calls for volunteers and donations were met with overwhelming response, with people not just pitching in for national efforts, but also starting spontaneous initiatives of their own.

The report said national contact tracing programme TraceTogether now covers more than 50 per cent of the population, with more than 2.9 million app and token users as at this month.

But this remains short of the 70 per cent take-up rate that is one of three preconditions for Singapore to enter phase three of its reopening.

These Government-led efforts were augmented by spontaneous initiatives of regular Singaporeans and businesses big and small.

Some organised movements to show appreciation for front-line workers; others donated care packs and food to vulnerable communities.

Unlike past reports, this year's report has a special section, entitled Emerging Stronger as One, that is devoted to recognising this partnership between the Government and people in the fight against the coronavirus, Mr Yip noted.

"Whether in crisis or in normalcy, the public service will continue to strive for better outcomes for our citizens and our businesses. We will continue to partner with Singaporeans to build a better future Singapore society and economy, and to emerge stronger from this crisis," he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post yesterday: "This Singapore Together spirit has united us through this crisis of a generation.

"We still have much to do in our road to recovery. Let us continue to work in close partnership, and emerge even stronger as one people."