SINGAPORE: It has been about eight months since Dr Wong Choo Wai ended his volunteer stint taking care of COVID-19 patients at Singapore Expo, but the 50-year-old sometimes wakes up in panic, thinking that he has overslept and is late for work. The senior family physician is still reeling from his experience of working almost 24/7 from April to September last year - pulling 12-hour volunteering shifts at the community care facility, while also still running his two clinics and seeing his regular patients. Getting only three hours of sleep each day, Dr Wong said that there were days where he almost dozed off at work due to the mental and physical exhaustion. He recalled one particular night in early May last year when he and other volunteers saw patients coming into the facility up until around 4am the next morning. Usually, new cases would stop coming in by midnight. “The next day, we were all so zonked out because each one of us saw at least a few hundred patients for that ... » Learn More about The Big Read: Frontline healthcare workers pushed to limits by non-stop, never-ending COVID-19 fight
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SINGAPORE: It had been a tough year for Singapore. Then, as 2020 came to its close, it looked like the country could see a flicker of light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel with its transition on Dec 28 to Phase 3 of its reopening. And in the months that followed, the path to a post-pandemic normality looked to be fairly smooth, with community cases generally running to no more than a few a day. Plans for events which hadn't been possible for months started to gather pace. This was in spite of the pandemic continuing to rage worldwide, with a number of countries forced to introduce and then reintroduce measures to curb the spread of the raging virus. Singapore hadn't needed to. Then, very quickly, things changed. Clusters began to spring up, with one emerging at Tan Tock Seng Hospital - the first in a local hospital since the pandemic began. Community cases began to steadily increase. To tackle the spike, Singapore announced some tighter, targeted measures on May ... » Learn More about IN FOCUS: Tackling COVID-19 with targeted measures – the new normal for Singapore?
SINGAPORE: Twenty-one COVID-19 community cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Monday (May 17), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said. Ten cases were linked to previous infections, while 11 had no links to other cases. Six of the 21 cases had been placed on quarantine earlier, said the ministry. There were also seven imported cases, who had already been placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore. Including the imported cases, Singapore reported a total of 28 infections. No new infections were reported in foreign workers' dormitories. NEW CLUSTER LINKED TO MARINA BAY SANDS CASINO DEALER A new cluster linked to Case 63317, a 36-year-old male Malaysian man who works as a dealer at Marina Bay Sands Casino, has been identified. One of the new community cases, Case 63350, is a 34-year-old Malaysian who is currently unemployed and was detected through surveillance. He is a household contact of Case 63317. He developed a fever and a cough on May 12, and ... » Learn More about 21 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new cluster linked to Marina Bay Sands Casino dealer
FILE PHOTO: A medical worker takes an oropharyngeal swab from a resident during mass testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a park in Quezon City, suburban Manila on April 15, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) CEBU CITY — After several months of eased restrictions for domestic travel, Cebu province is now requiring COVID-19 negative tests for those coming from Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Bohol provinces. Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia issued Executive Order No. 22 that requires either a negative swab test result 72 hours before departure or a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken at least 48 hours before departure from the place of origin. Garcia’s order takes effect from June 14 to July 24 “unless further extended.” The governor took into consideration the latest data from DOH that Cebu’s neighboring provinces recorded an increasing number of active COVID-19 cases in the country. As of June 13, Negros Oriental has 3,134 active COVID-19 cases while Bohol has 1,339. Cebu ... » Learn More about Cebu now requires travelers from Negros, Bohol to show negative COVID-19 test
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has assured the public that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) would be included in further reports on the review of drug war deaths after the agency noted that it was excluded in the inter-agency panel. Guevarra said this on Monday as he confirmed that the initial report had been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte’s office. According to Guevarra, the report submitted is only a partial one, which means that further work — presumably including CHR — is needed. “The initial report dated 29 (December) 2020 has just been submitted to the Office of the President. Let’s give him time to pore over it,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary told reporters. “We intend to engage with the CHR in this endeavor. As I said, the initial report is only a partial one,” he added. Guevarra further said that working on the reports was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, hence the inability to access ... » Learn More about Guevarra says drug war report submitted to Duterte; vows to engage with CHR
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) decision to open for review its records of 61 drug war operations where suspects died is a step in the right direction, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said on Wednesday that they hope this is the beginning of heightened cooperation and transparency between PNP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to clarify doubts and allegations that police operations do not adhere to human rights standards. “[CHR] acknowledges the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to open 61 cases of police operations for review, particularly those allegedly resulted in the deaths of drug suspects. PNP’s willingness in opening these cases for scrutiny is a step towards the right direction,” De Guia said in a statement. “CHR, even from the start, has repeatedly urged the government to be transparent and open in cooperating in the investigations of the said cases involving alleged ... » Learn More about PNP’s move to open records of 61 drug ops ‘a step towards right direction’ — CHR