Using conventional strategy (Multi-Ministry Task Force) to fight a guerrilla warfare (Covid-19)

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To set up a Task Force, co-chaired by two ministers and advise by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat is a conventional approach to deal with a health epidemic that is uncommon and illusive with the Coronavirus behaving like guerrillas who can’t be found.

Clearly, the guerrillas (Covid-19) are already operating and even entrenched in our local territories but the Task Force is still talking about their preparedness in coping with various scenarios.

With the announcement of raising the DORSCON ( Disease Outbreak Response System) to ORANGE, we are greeted by the Straits Times new message “LET’S ALL DO OUR PART” instead of the original “DO NOT WEAR A MASK IF YOU ARE WELL.”

Is the Task Force quietly changing its Health Advisory to washing your hands, monitoring your temperature and not touching own face.

It seems not as “the health authorities say there is still no need for those who are well to wear a mask.”

The extent a mask can protect us from the infection is still being debated.

But the Task Force’s decision to shift gear from Yellow to Orange is an important indication of how well the conventional strategy adopted so far has failed in fighting these invisible guerrillas in our midst.

Raising the disease outbreak alert level to Orange means that “the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact.”

“It is an acknowledgement that there is local spread, with a possibility that the disease may spread even more widely across the country… the situation is still considered to be under control.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “In the last few days, we have seen some cases which cannot be traced to the source of infection. These worried us, because it showed that the virus is probably already circulating in our population.”

“He added that this is why the outbreak alert level has been raised to Orange.”

The question to ask is under what condition will the outbreak alert level be raised to RED if the number of infections is not the criterion?

We are already four days into the ORANGE level of disease outbreak alert and it has not stopped the continuous spread of the disease:

8 Feb (Sat): 7 new cases announced. Total 40 people infected.
9 Feb (Sun): 3 new cases announced. Total 43 people infected.
10 Feb (Mon): 2 new cases announced. Total 45 people infected.
11 Feb (Tues): 2 new cases announced. Total 47 people infected.

Of the 47 cases so far, the locally transmitted cases have exceeded imported cases.

Singapore is treated as a source of Coronavirus infection besides Wuhan and China at large with Singapore having the second-highest number of infections outside China, and more than Hong Kong and Macau.

While PM Lee is urging Singaporeans to stay united and resolute and said “Fear and panic can cause more harm than Coronavirus,” and a piece of good news, “outside Hubei, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak, the death rate is only 0.2% so far.”, we should ask: Who wants to be in the 0.2% deaths?

Unfortunately, the world outside Singapore is looking at this small country with increased caution: UK is treating Singapore with care as the disease had entered the country via Singapore connection, Sarawak is enforcing 14-day home quarantine rule for travelers from Singapore, Indonesia raises travel advice to “Yellow” for Singapore and Kuwait and Qatar urge their citizens not to travel to Singapore.

These are serious signals that the Task Force ministers must not take lightly.

Yet, the Task Force ministers are continuously talking about being ready for this and that scenario; scenario planning is no longer the in-game to fight a guerrilla warfare here.
“The emphasis will now be on aggressively trying to stop or limit further spread, according to the MOH’s pandemic readiness and preparedness plan.”

Till now, I have not seen any aggressiveness in actions that can effectively defeat the guerrillas. Under Orange disease outbreak level, standard conventional actions are advocated: suspend inter-school and external activities like camps till end March, employers should conduct temperature-taking at least twice a day, for large scale events, event organizers should cancel or defer events or take precautions like temperature screenings.

There are a few cancellations or postponements of small events but the biggest event — the Singapore Airshow 2020 will go as scheduled even though 70 airshow exhibitors including US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin have pulled out of the event.

With 40,000 trade attendees from 140 countries coming into Singapore, the outcome cannot be scenario-planned. The Ministry of Transport, Department of Civil Aviation as well as MTI should explain why the air show could not be postponed or cancelled.

The conventional strategy of preparing for the worst-case scenario is not what that can protect the people from widespread community transmission.

Only aggressive actions can, not multi-administrative steps to show that the Task is organized and capable of implementing a plan. There is no need to do contact tracing if there are no infections in the community.

So unconventional strategy is required like Peoples Voice Party Leader’s proposal to close all schools (including preschools and kindergartens) for two weeks, suspend day-care centres for the elderly, stop the return of 30,000 PRC workers till it is safe to do so, direct major employers to instruct their non-essential service staff to work from home for next two weeks. This would immediately reduce the mass movement of people and cut down the risk of local infections.

PM Lee advised us: “Take sensible precautions, help one another, stay calm, and carry on with our lives.”

To the healthcare workers, doctors and nurses who are in the frontline of battle, decisive actions by the Task Force ministers are what that matter, not nice-sounding advice.

The people of Singapore deeply appreciate their hard work in this crisis and wish we can do something to reduce their risk exposure or lighten their workload. Do take extra care to protect yourself and love ones.

For the ministers in the Multi-Ministry Task Force, the health and lives of the people of Singapore are in your hands. I trust you will make sensible decisions and take decisive actions to protect the health and lives of the people and not allow politics to take precedence over their health and safety. Never make them into sacrificial lambs in this health crisis for the sake of politics and party gains.

 

Kok Ming Cheang

 

 

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25 Responses to “Using conventional strategy (Multi-Ministry Task Force) to fight a guerrilla warfare (Covid-19)”

  • Nothing will change ...:

    … as long as 70% dont change.
    Why change when 70% still support status quo?

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  • Bapak:

    SG is already in the RED ZONE, thanks to Sinkies70 since after GE15.

    MY under Tun is going to have 4.8% growth. Where is that PAPSUREWIN MF? Your masters have failed you……hahaha!

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  • Pretend Like It's Normal:

    The 4Gs need to show they have situation under control and so no need to lock down the schools and kindergartens because that would create a panic. It seems this virus has a “slow-release” effect. If the last date on Chinese entry was 31 Jan and symptoms don’t show until 14-24 days later, there could be many more undetected carriers. By March, we should have a clearer picture of the extent of the spread.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    The extent of the virus infection in Singapore is the result of a pro-alien, pro-PRC Chinese policy which the government is trying to play down. The stupid policy to only wear when sick is part of this.

    Do not be fooled into complacency. Always wear a mask when outdoors and vote for REGIME CHANGE to punish PAP for, inter-alia, its lack of openness and transparency. VTO for a healthier, more prosperous and pro-Singaporean Singapore.

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  • lying pap S$m liars, all lying:

    pap says wear mask only when kenna.

    pap Cb wears mask and when caught she says visiting someone kenna.

    pap says no kenna no need mask. pap means No kenna, No need mask means visiting or not visiting is not in the equation. it is kenna, wear mask, no kenna no wear mask.

    so pap says one thing but does another.

    because if sheep believes pap, sheep would not wear mask bus mrt (sheep no car because sheep believes pap BS car lite). but bus mrt who kenna nobody knows. by pap Cb logic, wear mask since bus mrt someone kenna. but sheep no mask 100% kenna if someone already kenna but symptoms take 24 days to show.

    sheep kenna bust mrt due to no mask then takes HDB lift up and down and also ntuc for bread so everyone in HDB ntuc all kenna finally.

    all kenna because sheep believes pap lie no kenna no need mask.

    just sheep brain.

    sheep should look at pap folks what they do and not listen to pap folks what they say. after all, pap cow boon hwan never bus mrt to work so he ffff care whether anyone bus mrt kenna or not.

    so also pap gan kim yong pap laulan wrong all these pap Ljs no bus mrt so they happily hoard mask and say no need mask unless kenna BECAUSE there is no mask even have cents to buy mask.

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  • Wayang:

    Time for wayang .Score!

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  • Zhu Jiang:

    If MOH does Due Diligence in the wake of SARS then there would have sufficient stockpile of masks to last for 6 to 8mths. But clearly there is insufficient masks of this quantity.

    Should heads roll or say out of national interest they be pardoned ?

    I think I can do a better job at a tenth of the salaries.

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  • N.Jungne:

    Alarmak from One Communist to another

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  • Harder Truths:

    Everything is don after the problem is too big. No brains. Proactive not reactive. Only buy coffin should be reactive.

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  • WakeupSG:

    Ministerial Task Force must change their conventional (C) strategy to A strategy (Agressive) and act decisively to use “destructive politics” which was coined by MP Cheng to defeat Covid-19. The use of motherhood statements which are politically right like be united, stay calm, carry on with our lives will not control and contain the virus spread to the communities!

    As the DORSCON Alert Level was raised from yellow to orange it calls for a stricter closing of doors of opportunity for the replication of Covid-19 by cancellation of Airshow for eg as the virus continues to spread. Govt open door policy will be disastrous placing many lives at risk of infection!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Bapak:
    SG is already in the RED ZONE, thanks to Sinkies70 since after GE15.

    MY under Tun is going to have 4.8% growth. Where is that PAPSUREWIN MF? Your masters have failed you……hahaha!

    Pak, we are No.2 next to China in INFECTION and the F…..g PAP is taking a stroll in the Park…
    Economy more IMPORTANT than People…Macau’s Economy is 100% Casino and they take DRASTIC ACTION closed the Casinos until data are more accurate…

    Billions in Defense and PA propaganda SHIT where dogs will wag their tails in gratitude…

    BUT… No to Mask!!! for every student especially Kindergarten teachers PLUS the Civil Service…too EXPANSIVE??? so give the SHIT of Not wearing Mask if NOT sick!!!

    Each student and civil servant should be given a Quality Mask the Best in the Market, not the medical kind…may cost above $20each but can easily last a month or more if carefully used…

    How MUCH to keep Singapore’s Innocent from getting Infected or Like LEEgal Abortion kills them off and bring in more through CECA & FT

    That is the bastards they are never changing from the time of a Bastard who murdered Babies in their wombs by the Millions since 1974

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Bapak:
    SG is already in the RED ZONE, thanks to Sinkies70 since after GE15.

    MY under Tun is going to have 4.8% growth. Where is that PAPSUREWIN MF? Your masters have failed you……hahaha!

    Pak the mask I would suggest is “Oxy Breadth Pro” advertised @TRE or something better leh!!!…will they??? F..k them if NOT!!!

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  • Bapak:

    Did anyone have news on Lucky Plaza Jollibee incident? Heard something but cannot go into details, otherwise kena POFMA and charged for spreading fake news and rumors mongering.

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  • To Mask or Not to Mask?:

    The Ministers say no need to wear mask if you are well. Four doctors signed a joint advisory telling people to wear a mask any time they go outside – any mask is better than no mask. Would you choose to believe the professionals or the politicians? Why politicians tell you no need to wear mask unless you need to go see a doctor? Now, it is a stigma to wear mask because others may think you are sick or kiasi! One MP chose to wear a mask during her visit to a HDB block in Tampines, as advised by NEA.

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  • TruBlu:

    No to *GROUP-THINK* the OBVIOUS!
    JUST REDUCE SGS TO CONTAGION BY BARRING FTs coming from PRC.

    TIMES LIKE THIS REQUIRES DRASTIC ACTIONS ,NOT MERE WAIT-AND-SEE REACTION!!!

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Straits Times: Coronavirus: Government to foot bills of infected patients at public hospitals, except outpatient expenses

    Did somebody complain he/she followed MOH advise and did not wear a mask because not unwell and got kena?

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Straits Times: Huge shelters for coronavirus patients pose new risks, experts fear

    “Ms Jennifer Nuzzo of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security: Attempting to stop the spread of the virus at this point is the wrong goal,” she said. “I don’t think there’s evidence that we can stop a respiratory virus moving as quickly and silently as this one is.”

    Is the above the reason for MOH advise not to wear mask unless unwell? Does it believe a mask basically useless? Is it only a “placebo”? So you only get 4 because it is free.

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  • Suanleba:

    Close schools mean overpaying the teachers and staff for nothing. This means big wastage of money. They are already cost cutting by removing the excess teachers in all ways and no way they are going to waste a single penny anymore. Suanleba. Forget it. The teachers will have to brave through the ‘Vietcongs’ ambush’ like Marines in Vietnam War, doomed to perish in the god forsaken jungles without anyone’s care. In your dreamland, maybe they will close. LOL

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  • Bapak:

    patriot of TUMASIK: Pak the mask I would suggest is “Oxy Breadth Pro” advertised @TRE or something better leh!!!…will they??? F..k them if NOT!!!

    Thank bro for your suggestion. Try FightTech washable cover, changeable 4 layers filter media with active carbon to N99 efficiency. N95 masks distributed by PAP, forget it. It is true they are not effective, but better than none. Having said that, however it’s also true any idiot wear the world’s best mask wrongly can be ineffective.

    Go one step further, buy a good eyes goggles. Airborne means can get thru’ your eyes. And goggles was not much in the debate now. This piece is as importance as mask. I got both.

    I never trusted the PAP Government. Do your own research you will know they speak with fork-tongue.

    Problem with Sinkies is they are so lazy to do their own research to seek the truth, instead let the fork-tongue G lead them into the pit.

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  • @Bapak

    I did ordered the packaged 3 Oxybreath 2 weeks ago but the local post office say all on holiday now sitting in warehouse, must wait for 18th then can start delivering. Bo bian, lan lan.

    BTW, I think to play safe, also can order the lightweight version of the spacesuits that NASA uses for space travel, sure sibei safe one.

    Dunno NASA got online store or not. lol

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  • John Lim:

    They have also set up a task force to tackle the drop in tourist arrivals. Isn’t this contradictory? – to increase the tourist arrivals
    at this time is NOT a good thing!!!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Bapak: Thank bro for your suggestion. Try FightTech washable cover, changeable 4 layers filter media with active carbon to N99 efficiency. N95 masks distributed by PAP, forget it. It is true they are not effective, but better than none. Having said that, however it’s also true any idiot wear the world’s best mask wrongly can be ineffective.

    Go one step further, buy a good eyes goggles. Airborne means can get thru’ your eyes. And goggles was not much in the debate now. This piece is as importance as mask. I got both.

    I never trusted the PAP Government. Do your own research you will know they speak with fork-tongue.

    Problem with Sinkies is they are so lazy to do their own research to seek the truth, instead let the fork-tongue G lead them into the pit.

    Good for you Pak, better be safe than sorry…One Word, “Sorry” after being cremated…That is what evil people are good for “sorry lah”…no CONcern or REMORSE…
    karma & retribution will strike like the Lightning Bolt that struck down those who “Think” they are demi-gods and no “Maranatha”…”Anitabah” or “Allah Akbar” will help when Death Knock at their doors

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  • Joker but not funny:

    Wear Spacesuit ?

    How you makan?
    Go intravenous with glucose or tube feeding with milk.

    How you shit/pee?
    Many dont know astronauts need to wear diapers .

    How you bath ?
    Dont bath then you develop rashes then other ailments. Also shit sticking to your butt.

    A joker but not funny.

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  • MasksGoWhere?:

    TRE Techie:
    @Bapak

    I did ordered the packaged 3 Oxybreath 2 weeks ago but the local post office say all on holiday now sitting in warehouse, must wait for 18th then can start delivering. Bo bian, lan lan.

    BTW, I think to play safe, also can order the lightweight version of the spacesuits that NASA uses for space travel, sure sibei safe one.

    Dunno NASA got online store or not. lol

    NASA just called..said oso out of stock :)

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  • 342123 460866A genuinely exciting examine, I could possibly not concur entirely, but you do make some genuinely legitimate points. 881756

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