Youth react to increase in COVID-19 community cases in Singapore
The largest COVID-19 cluster currently has nine community cases.
COVID-19 community cases are on the rise again.
On Thursday (Apr 29), the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported that there were 16 new community infections in Singapore – the highest number of local community cases since Jul 11 last year.
Currently, the largest cluster with nine community cases is linked to a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), which has since locked down two of its wards, and will defer or redirect non-urgent cases to other hospitals.
We spoke to some youth to discuss their concerns about the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and how they can continue to stay vigilant.
Wishes to continue visiting hospitalised relatives
“As I currently have to visit my relatives in the hospital, the rising community cases scare me. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to visit my relatives in the hospital anymore if the community cases continue to rise.
“Now, I treasure my time with my relatives more, as I know there’s a possibility that I won’t be able to visit them soon.
“It’s scary and upsetting to think that I can’t be by my family’s side when they’re in pain. Thinking about how my family has to be in the hospital by themselves with no one by their side makes my heart ache.
“I think everyone needs to take wearing a mask seriously. Sometimes, I see people wearing their masks under their nose or even under their chin. Some people even go to the extent of taking out their mask when they cough or talk. Even though it might not seem like a significant move, it is better to be safe than sorry.
“I believe small steps like this make a huge difference in keeping everyone safe from the virus.” – Liow Hui Shi, 19, Student
Concerns over infecting family members
“As a Year 3 nursing student, I went to various hospitals for my work attachments, and I’ll be going to TTSH for my future postings. We will be involved in administering medication, analysing our patients’ condition and communicating with other healthcare workers regarding their care.
“My number one concern is getting infected and accidentally affecting my family as well – especially since my parents are getting old and my 4-year-old nephew is staying with me.
“However, I already understood the risks before making the heavy decision to join this course, and am looking forward to the challenge – even if it means a heavier workload.
“To me, the vaccine is still effective despite the spike in cases in TTSH. Right now, only about one fifths of the nation is fully vaccinated, so the risk of getting infected will still be high until at least 90 per cent of Singapore is vaccinated.
“I think it’s vital for our youths to take the vaccine as we are the backbone of the next generation.” – Siti Syarina, 19, Student
The need to stay vigilant during Hari Raya
“Since there is only a maximum of eight visitors per house, we won’t have the joy of spending Hari Raya with all our relatives.
“To prevent people from taking the advantage of the government allowing us to celebrate, we should follow the rules strictly.
“The time we will spend with our relatives or family should not be as long, and we may even need to adjust our Muslim culture of shaking hands or salam as it may increase our contact with each other.
“We should definitely stay vigilant and look out for symptoms of the virus. Also, we should practise social distancing and prevent any large gatherings to prevent the chances of the virus spreading easily.” – Auni Batrisyia, 19, Student
Understanding that the pandemic isn’t over
“Given that the nature of my course involved a lot of on-site production work, it felt like the whole academic year of 2020 was a wasted opportunity. I spent the whole time doing home-based learning, so I’m afraid that I will be confined back to my home for my future years of education.
“I think the rise in community cases is due to the public getting laxer regarding safe distancing measures. As a community, there should be a mutual understanding that the pandemic isn’t over.
“If we do not manage ourselves well, there’s potential for new mutations of COVID-19 to spread, and we would need another circuit breaker period – especially with the upcoming June holidays.” – Shauna Teo, 19, Student
Visit the doctor when sick
“Since everyone is going out now, there is a possibility that they will mingle with people who have been infected with COVID-19. I feel that there might be a chance of another serious outbreak occurring. The majority of the population might be at risk again, and a lockdown might even be inevitable.
“I think we should make sure that those who are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19 visit the clinic. If we can get everyone to be considerate and make sure they visit the doctor when they are sick, we do not have to tighten the measures.
“While it is impossible to say exactly how effective the vaccine will be as there is still insufficient data, I think we should still take the vaccine. It’ll allow Singapore to open up the economy soon.” – Calvin Paul, 18, Student
Written by Celeste Lim, Stacey Tay, Effie Tan, Jeevana Kalaithasan