Seventeen years after the SARS tragedy, the bad-old days appear to have returned to Singapore – seemingly better prepared now than in 2003!
Seemingly, that is, with Thailand and Malaysia having been ranked higher than Singapore in pandemic preparedness, based on a report released yesterday by the Economist Intelligence Unit – https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/singapore-lags-thailand-and-malaysia-in-pandemic-preparedness-says-economist
It does not appear to me that Singapore acted in the interest of the country during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, when I visited the Raffles Hospital today for a physiotherapy session, the first after my return from Orlando a week ago, controls were well in place to screen visitors.
They were reminiscent of the restrictions that were enforced during the SARS days.
Visitors had to sign a declaration form, temperatures were monitored and answer questions before being allowed in.
Flights to China have only been reduced, not cancelled. As with SARS, China suppressed Coronavirus information until it no longer could.
The WHO waited too long before declaring a health emergency. China’s influence with organisations and world powers is strong, at the expense of people both within and beyond the mainland.
G Joslin Vethakumar