As we enter Phase 3, it is timely to reflect on what we have gone through together in this extraordinary year, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.
In a heartfelt letter addressed to the healthcare family, Mr Gan thanked healthcare workers for the colossal effort they put in to keep Singapore safe. Describing 2020 as a gruelling year for the healthcare family, he said they were at times ‘filled with despair and hopelessness’.
NEVER GAVE UP
The initial days were days of anxiety and uncertainty. But the healthcare fraternity responded by quickly adapting and improvising to find novel ways to care for every patients including non-COVID patients.
“We deployed medical teams to community care facilities and dormitories, augmented our healthcare workforce with the SG Healthcare Corps, and work closely with partners across the public and private sectors to screen, test and care for patients,” wrote Mr Gan.
At the peak, Singapore saw a staggering record of more than 1400 new cases a day in April. But giving up was never an option, Mr Gan said. “As a nation, we pressed on and through a colossal effort, with every Singaporean playing their part, we eventually managed to bring our local transmissions down to its low levels today, with zero cases on some days.”
Pivotal role by healthcare workers
Healthcare workers play a pivotal role in Singapore’s journey thus far.
Mr Gan said that it is by no means a stroke of luck that Singapore’s fatality rate is among the lowest in the world. “It is a testament of the hard work, perseverance and sacrifice of healthcare workers,” he pointed out.
“We have an excellent healthcare system and an outstanding healthcare workforce who never wavered in your commitment to keep every patient safe,” Mr Gan added.
While the global development of vaccines has given us hope that there could be light at the end of the tunnel, Mr Gan emphasized that vaccination is not the silver bullet that will bring a quick end to the pandemic. It will be quite some time before the storm will pass, he said.
Thanking healthcare workers, Mr Gan expressed confidence that ‘whatever comes our way next, we will be able to take it in our stride, and once again find strength to confront adversity together.
“The pandemic has tested our mettle, but it will not break our resolve and spirit.”
– Health Minister Gan Kim Yong –