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Timeline: Managing the outbreak of COVID-19


The beginning of 2020 was overshadowed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 that has sparked social unrest throughout the globe.

Master Cheng Yen said, “We ought to be awakened to the lessons brought by alarming disasters”. As the world observes vigilance over the disease, may Tzu Chi volunteers continue to bring peace to the community and take full preventive measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

Here is a timeline of how Tzu Chi Singapore manages COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak.

 

  • 22 Jan

    [Confirmed case: 0]

    Singapore: Government set up multi-agency task force
    Government set up measures such as temperature screening at airport.

    timeline 20200122
  • 23 Jan

    [Confirmed case: 1]

    First confirmed case
    The first confirmed case is a 66 year old tourist from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore on 20 Jan.

  • 24 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 3]

    Singapore: Masks shortage seen in some retail stores
    Due to anxiety over the outbreak, some residents begin panic buying of face masks.

    Tzu Chi: Compliance with precautionary measures advised by the government
    Medical and Education establishments begin following the guidelines from the respective government agencies and put in place the precautionary measures.

    timeline 20200124
  • 27 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 5]

    Singapore: Authorities fight spread of fake news
    Ministry of Health has instructed the office overseeing the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to issue a general correction notice to a forum that has made a false statement.

    Tzu Chi: Implementation of self quarantine measures
    Human resource department has sent out a circular requesting staff members who have recently returned from mainland China to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

    timeline 20200127
  • 28 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 7]

    Singapore: Government starts tracing and isolating high risk groups
    Ministry of Health contacts those who had been to Hu Bei Province, China, during the 14 days before entering Singapore, to undergo quarantine.

  • 29 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 10]

    Singapore: Government launches quarantine order allowance scheme
    Self-employed persons or employers of the quarantined individuals are entitled to a 100 Singapore dollars allowance a day.

    Tzu Chi: Nationwide DORSCON Yellow precautions in place
    Tzu Chi conducts the first cross department meeting to tackle the outbreak. All establishments to start implementing precautionary measures. Cluster activities are cancelled or suspended. The foundation also began consolidating preventive equipment for the outbreak.

    timeline 20200129
  • 30 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 13]

    Singapore: Government begin distributing 4 face masks per household
    A total of 1.37 million households can collect face masks from grassroot committees. Government discourages people from hoarding face masks.

    timeline 20200130
  • 31 Jan

    [Confirmed cases: 16]

    Singapore: Prime Minister visits the National Centre for Infectious Disease
    Prime Minister visits the National Centre for Infectious Disease situated beside Tan Tock Seng Hospital. It is the main institution taking care of COVID-19 patients.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi starts to release outbreak related news and share of information on the right ways to maintain personal hygiene.
     

  • 2 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 18]

    Singapore: Stabilisation and support package for Transportation and Tourism industries
    Deputy Prime Minister announced that Budget 2020 will help to revitalize the transportation and tourism industries.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers share information on precautionary measures to care recipients
    477 volunteers visit 466 care recipients across the island in groups of 3 to 4 to share about the right ways to prevent the virus from spreading. 

    timeline 20200202
  • 3 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 18]

    Singapore: Some recent travellers to Singapore are forced to move out of their rental homes
    Some landlords demand their tenants who recently returned to Singapore to move out due to the concern of being infected. Some entreprises therefore support their employees' temporary housing.

    Tzu Chi: Prayer session on every afternoon initiated
    All Tzu Chi establishments take part in the afternoon Prayer session as advocated by Tzu Chi Taiwan, with the hope to gather kind thoughts to calm the society.

    timeline 20200203
  • 4 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 24]

    Singapore: First cluster of local transmission in Singapore
    Schools, senior activity centres etc. suspend big group activities.

  • 7 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 33]

    Singapore: DORSCON level raised to Orange
    DORSCON level is raised to Orange after 3 cases of COVID-19 without any links to previous cases or travel history to China.

    Tzu Chi: Precautionary measures are stepped up to curb virus spread
    The foundation has stepped up on its precautionary measures in every Tzu Chi establishments, cancelling all big group and overseas activities, and slowing down on home visits. Administrative meetings are also shifted online.
    (News: Everyone is responsible to prevent COVID-19 from spreading)

    timeline 20200207
  • 8 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 40]

    Singapore: Panic buying of daily necessities
    Civilians started panic buying of daily necessities 2 nights ago, with some travelling to Johor Bahru to stock up their food supply.  

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi forms task group to tackle the outbreak
    A task group which consists of heads of department is formed, with Dr Edwin Lim serving as the medical consultant. The number of volunteers on duty in various Tzu Chi establishments are regulated and restricted while cross working in different Tzu Chi establishments are minimised. 
    (News: Tzu Chi sets up an epidemic relief committee to ward off COVID-19 / Protecting students through daily disinfection of classrooms / Tzu Chi recycling volunteers unaffected by COVID-19)

    timeline 20200208
  • 9 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 43]

    Singapore: Government emphasises that resources and supply are adequate
    Government and supermarkets both emphasised that local supplies of daily necessities are adequate.

    timeline 20200209
  • 10 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 45]

    Singapore: Doctors' movement restricted
    To prevent cross infections, Ministry of Health is restricting the movement of healthcare workers across different hospitals, limiting all healthcare workers to only work at one medical institution.

    Tzu Chi: First meeting of task force
    An epidemic relief committee is set up to scrutinize if the precautionary measures in each Tzu Chi office is adequate, and draw up plans for certain groups who require more care (care recipients, front line staff etc).

    timeline 20200210
  • 11 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 47]

    Singapore: Singapore and Malaysia set up cross country task force for the outbreak
    In view of the frequent travelling of the infected cases between Singapore and Malaysia, the two countries set up cross country task force for the outbreak, to share information about COVID-19.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi draws up sub-plans
    Three sub-projects are rolled out in the epidemic relief project, namely the Tzu Chi Epidemic Relief Programme for all staff and volunteers working at Tzu Chi's medical and education establishments, the Epidemic Relief Programme for Tzu Chi Care Recipients which targets over 700 care recipient families that are receiving Tzu Chi's long term aid and finally, the Temporary Settlement Programme for Returning Workers for Chinese national workers who are placed in a temporary quarantine facility. 

  • 13 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 58]

    Singapore: Grants to help taxi drivers and private car drivers
    A number of infections were spread via taxi and private car drivers, resulting in a drop in their business. Ministry of Transport has drawn up a few schemes to tackle the situation faced by drivers.

    Tzu Chi:  
    One stop website and online wish board set up for well wishers to post their messages

    A one stop website is created to consolidate information and make it easy for readers to find out how Tzu Chi is managing the outbreak. An online wish board was also set up to invite the public to send their words of encouragement to front line workers.

    Decoration of the temporary facility for returning migrant workers
    Tzu Chi volunteers set up bookshelves with books and indoor plants for the dormitory, and pasted Jing si ahorisms on the walls, to improve the humanistic ambience.

    timeline 20200213
  • 14 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 67]

    Singapore: Catholic churches halt large scale masses
    Catholic churches cancel large scale masses as two clusters of infections were related to churches.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Tzu Chi hands out care packages to frontline workers on Valentine's Day

    Tzu Chi's board members and representative sent blessings to Tzu Chi's medical and education departments, and 3 partner hospitals, namely Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat hospital and Ng Teng Fong Hospital.
    (News: Sending Love amidst COVID-19 outbreak / A Special Love, For You Who Defend Us at the Frontline / Tzu Chi offers moral support to frontliners amidst the coronavirus outbreak.)

    Tzu Chi hands out care packs to returned migrant workers
    Volunteers arrived at the dormitory of returned migrant workers for the first time, to present gift packs to them.

    timeline 20200214
  • 17 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 77]

    Singapore: Stay home notice to take over Leave of absence
    Stay home notice is stricter than Leave of absence, as people serving the stay home notice are not allowed to step out of their homes for 14 days, unlike the latter that allowed people to leave their homes briefly to buy food or necessities.

  • 18 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 81]

    Singapore: Government rolls out Assurance package
    In Budget 2020, Government has rolled out a $6 billion Assurance package for entreprises, workers, families and front line workers who are affected by the outbreak.

    Tzu Chi: First round of aid distribution for care recipients
    Volunteers distribute goodies consisting of 4 pieces of face masks, hand sanitizers, vitamin C and Jing si instant rice to the 155 care recipients who urgently needed supplies. 
    (News: Tzu Chi's epidemic relief programme for care recipients / Home visits with loving care amidst COVID-19 outbreak)

    timeline 20200218
  • 21 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 86]

    Singapore: Employers to abide by the guidelines on Leave of Absence or Stay Home Notice
    The Ministry of Manpower has warned employers not to deduct the annual leave of employees with Leave of Absence or Stay Home Notice, failing which, their work-pass privileges will be withdrawn.

    Tzu Chi: Jing Si Bookstore and Cafe offers discount on beverages for healthcare workers
    Jing Si Bookstore and Cafe at Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre has offered a 15% discount off beverages for healthcare workers.

  • 26 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 93]

    Singapore: Singapore uses serological tests to find the link between infection clusters
    Using serological tests, Singapore managed to trace the missing cases who have already recovered from Covid-19, making Singapore the first country to use this method to find the link between infected cases.

    Tzu Chi: 
    2 weeks of Business Continuity Exercise

    As part of the business continuity plan, Tzu Chi implements a two week business continuity exercise at Jing Si Hall to simulate the work process when DORSCON alert is raised to Red.

    Audio recording for a broadcasting session at isolation facility
    Tzu Ching and volunteers went to the recording studio that partners with Humanistic Youth Centre, to make an audio recording as part of the programme for returning migrant workers.

    timeline 20200226
  • 27 Feb

    [Confirmed cases: 96]

    Singapore: A couple from China are charged in court for providing false information to the Ministry of Health
    The couple had told several lies regarding their movements and whereabouts during their quarantine period.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Tzu Chi sends care packages to TIMA members

    Tzu Chi distributes 145 care packages to TIMA members who work in their own clinic or local hospitals before 11 March.

    Members of Tzu Chi Entrepreneurs Association visit returnees who have completed their quarantine at the temporary facility
    Several entrepreneurs make trips to the dormitory everyday to visit and pass care packages to returnees who have completed their quarantine.
    (News: Tzu Chi makes quarantine easier for returning workers from China / Heartwarming gesture of love and blessings to TIMA members admidst COVID-19 / Tzu Chi presents token of appreciation to TIMA members)

    timeline 20200228
  • 2 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 108]

    Singapore: Air transport companies receive funding for training
    Unionised aviation companies will receive an additional S$500,000 funding to upskill their workers.

    Tzu Chi: A concert is held at Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre to thank healthcare workers
    To show appreciation to healthcare workers working nearby, Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre has worked with Playground Studio and Realfood to host a Music is Love concert during lunchtime on every Monday.
    (News: Social enterprises thank frontline healthcare workers the gastronomic way)

    timeline 20200302
  • 5 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 117]

    Singapore: Travellers to Singapore who appear feverish or display signs of respiratory illness to undergo a nasal swab test at all checkpoints
    A new kit has been developed to collect nasopharyngeal swab samples from people with fever and respiratory conditions at checkpoints. It takes 3 hours to get the result.

    Tzu Chi: A vegetarianism campaign has been initiated among volunteers
    Adopting a vegetarian diet is not only healthy but also one of the best ways to stay away from the source of virus, therefore, a vegetarianism campaign is initiated among volunteers.
    (News: Preschool children responded positively to adopting a vegetarian diet)

  • 10 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 166]

    Singapore: Suspension of activities for seniors
    All senior activities conducted by government agencies will be suspended for 14 days from 11 March to 24 March.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre holds an art exhibition to pay tribute to those affected by the epidemic
    Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre's partner, 3Pumpkins worked with Jimmy Ong (a local installation artist) to host the Poverty Quilt exhibition at the Humanistic Youth Centre. Besides commemorating loved ones who have passed away, the exhibition also pays tribute to people who are suffering from the epidemic worldwide.
    (News: Local artists show their support through art)

    timeline 20200310
  • 13 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 200]

    Singapore: Singapore suspends events and gatherings of 250 people or more
    All cultural, sporting and entertainment related events with more than 250 people are cancelled.

    Tzu Chi: Training for volunteers goes online
    Virtual volunteer training programmes are either pre-recorded or streamed live online. Smaller breakout groups of volunteers communicate via group chats without physically meeting.

  • 14 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 212]

    Singapore: A call by the Government to observe social distancing received mixed reactions from the public
    While many owners and tenants of public places have started observing this latest measure advised by the government, the public is trying to live life as normal as possible.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Launching of broadcasting programme for quarantined returnees staying in dormitory

    The pre-recorded radio programme is broadcasted for 3.5 hours a day from Monday to Friday, and there is a 2 hours song selection session during weekends.
    (News: Spreading seeds of kindness through broadcasting)

    Continued with blood donation drive
    As there was a shortage in the blood bank, Tzu Chi and the Red Cross co-organise a blood donation drive on 14th and 21st.
    (News: The public is still donating blood amid coronavirus pandemic)

    timeline 20200314
  • 16 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 243]

    Singapore: Tightening of entry approval for short-term visitors
    Singapore residents and short-term visitors who travelled to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days will have to serve a 14-day Stay Home Notice.

    Tzu Chi: Dissemination of cards containing information on infection control measures and vegetarian diet.
    Lakeside General Clinic disseminates cards with information on infection control measures that also contain Jingsi Aphorism. Patients are also encouraged to adopt a vegetarian diet.
    (News: Going meatless as a form of social responsibility)

  • 17 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 266]

    Singapore: Second round of panic buying across Singapore
    The panic buying is caused by the concern of limited food supply after the Malaysian government announced a lockdown measure that runs from 18 March until 31 March.

    timeline 20200317
  • 18 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 313]

    Singapore: Provision of short term housing and accommodation subsidy for Malaysian workers
    More than 10 thousand Malaysian workers are given temporary accommodation during the lockdown imposed by the Malaysian government. Companies that need to relocate their employees urgently will receive an accommodation subsidy of S$50 per employee per night for a maximum of 14 days.

    Tzu Chi: Alternate Working Arrangement for Jing Si Hall is now official
    After conducting a business continuity exercise for two weeks at the end of February, an alternate working arrangement for the foundation's core departments as part of its sustainability plan is now official. Employees are divided into two groups to work at different workplaces to reduce the possibility of cross infection. 
    (News: Prepared for the worst with a Business Continuity Plan)

    timeline 20200318
  • 19 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 345]

    Singapore: Tightening of preventive measures as school reopens
    The government announces that school will start on schedule the following week. However, educators and students who have travelled overseas after 14 March are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

    Tzu Chi: Cancellation of all non-essential volunteering work
    All volunteer activities and classes are cancelled and shifted to web-based volunteer training and studying.
    (News: Volunteer training goes onlineSenior volunteers overcome their fear of digital technology)

    timeline 20200319
  • 23 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 509]

    Singapore: All short-term visitors are not allowed entry or transit
    To curb imported cases of COVID-19, all short-term visitors are barred from entering or transiting in Singapore with effect from midnight.

    Tzu Chi: Provision of a place to study for students from The Little Skool House (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital)
    Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre makes available a purpose hall for the children from The Little Skool House (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital) to attend classes. This is to ensure that they have a safe space for learning where they have a lower chance of coming into contact with COVID-19 patients. The school has also started to serve only vegetarian meals.

    timeline 20200323
  • 26 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 683]

    Singapore: Social gathering is limited to 10 people or less
    Apart from working or attending school, all other social activities are limited to 10 people or less.

    Tzu Chi: Cancellation of all recycling activities and the operation of Tzu Chi's Humanistic Youth Centre
    Tzu Chi Eco-Awareness Centre's operations are suspended until further notice. The public is encouraged to leave their recycling materials at the community's recycling bin. To comply with social distancing measures, Tzu Chi's Humanistic Youth Centre closes its public reading corner and the second walkway.

    timeline 20200326
  • 27 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 732]

    Singapore: The president, prime minister and other ministers to take 3-month pay cut
    The deputy prime minister and minister for finance Heng Swee Keat extends the Solidarity Budget on 26th April, in which he announces an additional pay cut of up to 3 months.

    Tzu Chi: Rolls out the Epidemic Relief Programme for Tzu Chi Care Recipient 2.0
    A telephone survey of 550 care recipients is conducted to find out the degree to which their livelihood is affected. Based on the information gathered, the relief programme is adjusted according to specific needs.

  • 28 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 802]

    Singapore: The general public is advised to stay home
    The general public is advised to reduce the number of trips to the malls and stay home as much as possible.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers are requested to distribute 2 months worth of subsidy to beneficiaries
    Volunteers distribute subsidies for the month of April and May as well as medical supplies for April to beneficiaries islandwide.

  • 31 Mar

    [Confirmed cases: 926]

    Singapore: The armed forces have postponed all major exercises
    A month-long moratorium on major exercises has been declared by the Singapore armed forces, replaced by training in smaller groups.

    Tzu Chi: Cancellation of Tzu Chi's Buddha Day Celebration
    The annual Vesak celebration in May has been cancelled. Volunteers are encouraged to join Tzu Chi Taiwan (Hualian branch)'s vesak ceremony online.

  • 1 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1000]

    Singapore: All schools conduct one day of home-based learning per week
    All schools are required to conduct a one-day Home Based Learning on a weekly basis.

    Tzu Chi: Strengthening volunteers' protective measures against COVID-19.
    Temporary closure of Jing Si Hall, Tzu Chi Daai Gallery, and Seniors Engagement and Enabling Node (Bukit Batok and Nanyang).
    Temporary halting of volunteers' roster duty and Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Bukit Merah) Sunday service.
    Staff are advised to delay all overseas travel plans.

  • 2 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1049]

    Singapore: Suspension of all visitors to all nursing homes
    All visitors are barred from visiting nursing homes until the end of the month.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Preschool delivers a token of appreciation to frontliners

    Teachers from the Great Love Preschool present gifts consisting of cards and a video made by their students to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
    (News: Preschool children pay tribute to COVID-19 frontliners)

    Repatriation of a dialysis patient

    During Malaysia's Movement Control Order period, Tzu Chi liaises with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy, the relevant hospital and Tzu Chi (Johor Bahru Branch) to facilitate the return of a fellow Singaporean residing in Johor, to continue with dialysis treatment in Singapore.

  • 4 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1189]

    Singapore: The general public is advised to wear a reusable mask when going out
    Singapore recorded cases of asymptomatic carriers and the rise in local community spread. The government advises the general public to wear a reusable mask when they leave their homes.

    Tzu Chi: Provision of basic supplies to Malaysian workers in Singapore
    Due to Malaysia's Movement Control Order, some Malaysian workers are stranded in Singapore without shelter. In view of their plight, Tzu Chi delivers basic necessities to 25 of them.
    (News: Tzu Chi renders urgent help to foreign workers stranded in Singapore / Sending warmth to stranded workers from Malaysia)

    timeline 20200404
  • 5 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1309]

    Singapore: Singapore Expo is repurposed as a Community Isolation Facility
    Singapore Expo will be converted to a Community Isolation Facility to house patients with mild symptoms and confirmed cases who are recovering.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers are invited to publicise and explain circuit breaker measures to members of the public at hawker centres
    In response to NEA's invitation, Tzu Chi activates 21 volunteers to hawker centres to help publicise and explain circuit breaker measures.
    (News: Singapore launches “circuit breaker” to minimize spread of COVID-19 / Tzu Chi volunteers as Clean Ambassadors before the start of “circuit breaker”)

    timeline 20200405
  • 7 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1481]

    Singapore: Day 1 of Circuit Breaker
    From 7th April to 4th May, all non-essential work places and schools (from 8th April onwards) will be closed. Employees are required to telecommute and students to participate in Home-Based Learning during this period. All F&B outlets can only provide take-away or delivery services. All public facilities will be closed.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Staff to adhere to safe distancing measures

    All employees are required to telecommute. All volunteer work is stopped, except for Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre's childcare and F&B branch, Lakeside General Clinic and Great Love PreSchool childcare centre. Two Seniors Engagement & Enabling Nodes remain closed. Two Jing Si Books and Cafes adjust their operating hours.

    Rolls out the Epidemic Relief Programme for Tzu Chi Care Recipient 3.0
    During the Circuit Breaker period, weekly telephone calls are made to care recipients who require additional help. Supply stations are set up in each community to provide care recipients with basic supplies and pre-paid phone cards.

  • 8 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 1623]

    Singapore: F&B operators provide free meals to senior citizens
    F&B operators join hands to provide free food to people who are 55 years old and above.

    Tzu Chi: Preschool shifts to Home-Based Learning
    Other than a handful of children who, under special circumstances, have to attend classes at the Great Love Preschool, most of the children have started Home-Based Learning. Teachers are required to prepare daily learning materials to facilitate the interaction between stay-home parents and their kids.

    timeline 20200408
  • 14 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 3252]

    Singapore: Government introduces additional measures to minimise further spread of COVID-19 in migrant worker dormitories
    As migrant worker dormitories become Singapore's largest infection clusters, the government steps up on control measures such as early testing, contact tracing and quarantining.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Initiation of the making of fabric mask covers

    The Humanistic Youth Centre initiates an activity to make mask cover out of cloth. Businesses provide fabric free of charge while Singpost sponsors postage and envelope for members of the public to place their order. 23 volunteers are involved and 752 fabric mask covers are distributed. The remaining 800 over masks are distributed to Great Love Preschool, The Little Skool House (Khoo Teck Puat Hospital) and Tzu Chi's Seniors Engagement & Enabling Node.
    (News: Tzu Chi distributes handmade fabric mask cover to the community / Volunteers make fabric face mask covers for the community)

    Circulation of information on plant-based diet.
    Volunteers to share information about plant-based diet regularly on Tzu Chi Buddies facebook page.

    timeline 20200414
  • 16 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 4427]

    Singapore: Singapore mandates everyone to wear a mask when they leave their homes
    It is mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when out, except for kids under 2 years old and those doing strenuous exercise. First-time offenders will be fined $300 and repeat offenders will be fined $1000.

    Tzu Chi: Informing volunteers of the details of the government's relief packages
    The Charity Development Department streams classes online every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday so that volunteers are duly informed of the government's and Tzu Chi's relief effort to help the needy. Volunteers are able to obtain first-hand information for the purpose of assisting the needy.

  • 17 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 5050]

    Singapore: Over 150 people fined for flouting safe distancing rules; 100 others caught without masks in public
    More than 150 people will be fined for breaching safe distancing rules, and another 100 people were going about without masks in public, the Environment and Water Resources Minister, Mr Masagos Zulkifli said.

    Tzu Chi: Financial-based assistance provided to students studying from home in the "Let's Pay It Forward" programme
    In collaboration with Esse Pi Pte Ltd (an IoT AI startup), Tzu Chi raises funds online to purchase 100 Chromebook and 60 Laptops for students who need them for Home-Based Learning. Those devices will be given to the children of Tzu Chi’s beneficiaries, SG Bono beneficiaries and students from Social Service Centre. The project will also provide free broadband access for a period of 6 months to beneficiaries who currently do not have broadband connection.

    timeline 20200417 givingsg
  • 21 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 9125]

    Singapore: Circuit Breaker measures are extended to 1 June
    As there is a significant increase of confirmed cases among migrant workers and unlinked cases remain high, the government extends the Circuit Breaker measures to 1 June. Additionally, the number of essential service workers who are allowed to work onsite has been further restricted and the number of onsite workers drop from 20% to 15%.

  • 22 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 10141]

    Singapore: Extension and enhancement of the current relief packages and subsidies.
    With the extension of the Circuit Breaker measures, the government extends and enhances the current relief packages and subsidies to help affected businesses and workers. This will cost the government S$3.8 billion.

    Tzu Chi: Commences "To-gather Kindness" Donation Matching Programme
    In view of the extended Circuit Breaker period, Tzu Chi commences a 3-month long (until 22 July) Donation Drive. Businesses will match every dollar of donor's donation which will then be channeled to the needy in the society.

    timeline 20200422 givingsg
  • 24 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 12075]

    Singapore: NTUC Fair Price introduces vans ferrying essential goods for purchase to senior citizens
    NTUC Fair Price rolls out "FairPrice on Wheels" which consists of specially-fitted vans carrying essential goods to selected estates for the convenience of senior citizens who need not travel to the stores to make their purchases. The move is welcome.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Preschool delivers food to migrant workers

    As a tribute to migrant workers, the teachers of Great Love Preschool prepare origami artwork and raise funds to purchase 600 sets of takeaway rice and noodles for the migrant workers. The gifts are delivered through the Migrant Workers' Centre.
    (News: Preschool children show their care to foreign workers)

    Volunteers send masks to migrant workers

    The Humanistic Youth Centre collaborates with CYC (a local tailor), gathering 66 volunteers to make cloth masks at home. The first batch of 5,700 masks are sent to the Migrant Workers' Centre for distribution to the migrant workers at various dormitories. The masks are received by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Communications and Information.
    (News: Volunteers make reusable masks for migrant workers)

    timeline 20200424
  • 25 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 12963]

    Singapore: Businessess and individuals display the national flag to show solidarity in fight against COVID-19
    All businesses and residences are allowed to display the national flag with immediate effect until the end of the National Day Parade, in a move to show solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.

    Tzu Chi: Sends basic supplies to Sri Lankan students
    Tzu Chi is approached by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore to help provide dried food for the consumption of 250 Sri Lankan students. The High Commission will on-distribute the goods to the beneficiaries.
    (News: Sri Lankan students receive urgent living supplies from Tzu Chi / Sri Lankan students receive urgent living supplies from Tzu Chi)

    timeline 20200425
  • 27 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 14423]

    Singapore: School hostel and port to serve as isolation facilities as cases surge
    The vacant hostel at Anderson Junior College and Tanjung Pagar shipping-container port have been repurposed as Community Isolation Facilities to house migrant workers.

    Tzu Chi: Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic provides Swab Test Service
    For the convenience of people who are testing for COVID-19, the Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic becomes a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) which provides swab test service where patients can be swabbed and sent home immediately under the Swab and Send Home Programme, so as to minimise their contact with the general public.

  • 29 Apr

    [Confirmed cases: 15641]

    Singapore: To increase the number of community facilities to house COVID-19 patients
    The government will add new facilities to cater to patients with varying degree of COVID-19 symptoms who will require different levels of medical care. The additional beds for these patients will increase by more than 100% in 2 months.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Sends second batch of masks to migrant workers

    The second batch of 10,800 cloth masks made by 173 volunteers are sent to the Migrant Workers' Centre for distribution to the migrant workers at various dormitories.
    (News: Coming together to make face masks for migrant workers)

    Extends financial help to owner of private hire car
    Volunteers and care recipients who operate private hire car service are paid to help transport Tzu Chi's living supplies.
    (News: Licensed drivers engaged to deliver goods)

    timeline 20200429
  • 1 May

    [Confirmed cases: 17101]

    Singapore: Employers are urged to save jobs
    PM Lee Hsien Loong urges workers to accept a paycut in order to keep their job. At the same time, he advises employers to refrain from retrenching workers so as to prepare for the gradual economic recovery.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers pack basic supplies for migrant workers who are confirmed patients
    30 volunteers are at the Youth Centre to prepare 1,800 packs of basic supplies for migrant workers who suffer from mild COVID-19 symptoms. 1,700 of them will be quarantined at one of their dormitories.

    timeline 20200501
  • 4 May

    [Confirmed cases: 18778]

    Singapore: The number of unlinked cases within the community reduces
    Epidemiologists are of the opinion that the Circuit Breaker measures has begun to take effect, in view of the decrease in the number of unlinked cases within the community.

    Tzu Chi: Part of HYC cordoned off for healthcare workers to rest and recuperate
    Part of the Humanistic Youth Centre is made available as a place for healthcare workers from Khoo Teck Puat hospital to rest and recuperate. Some healthy snacks and drinks are provided for the workers.

    timeline 20200504
  • 7 May

    [Confirmed cases: 20939]

    Singapore: Government distributes second-generation reusable face masks
    The improved second-generation reusable face masks are able to filter up to 95% of bacteria, they are as breathable as surgical masks and are more comfortable to wear.

    Tzu Chi: Commences "To-gather vegetarian, delivers loving kindness meals" programme.
    Volunteers start to provide vegetarian meal delivery service to care recipients staying in the North. These include senior citizens and people who live alone, who need assistance to move about, who are unable to prepare their own food, who are unable to leave their homes to buy food and who are unable to get their original food supplies and are willing to try consuming vegetarian food. This service will be extended to the whole island from the following week.
    (News: Tzu Chi delivers hearty vegetarian meals to encourage vegetarianism)

    timeline 20200507
  • 9 May

    [Confirmed cases: 22460]

    Singapore: SPOT the robot dog "patrol" parks to ensure safe distancing
    To lower the risk of exposure between Npark staff and the public, the Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) deploys robot SPOT to monitor the number of park visitors and ensuring public observe safe distancing .

    Tzu Chi: Sends third batch of masks to migrant workers
    The third batch of 10,800 cloth masks made by 165 volunteers are sent to the Migrant Workers' Centre for distribution to the migrant workers at various dormitories.

  • 10 May

    [Confirmed cases: 23336]

    Singapore: Increased deployment of SafeEntry National digital check-in system
    With effect from 12 May, except for office buildings and factories, all schools, malls, barbers are required to have in place a SafeEntry National digital check-in system. Passengers who hail a cab are also encouraged to scan the in-vehicle QR code to facilitate contact tracing efforts.

    Tzu Chi: Celebrates "Buddha Day, Mother's Day and Tzu Chi Day", a 3-in-1 event online
    The 3-in-1 event is cancelled in view of Circuit Breaker measures and it is replaced with an online celebration where the local branch connects with Jing Si Abode in Taiwan to pay respect to the Buddha.
    (News: Celebrating Tzu Chi Buddha Day 2020 online)

    timeline 20200510
  • 12 May

    [Confirmed cases: 24671]

    Singapore: All 300,000 migrant workers to be tested for COVID-19 and the presence of antibodies
    A total of 32,000 migrant workers (i.e. 10% of migrant workers staying in dormitories) have been tested. However, the government will continue to test the remaining 300,000 migrant workers staying in dormitories so as to ensure that they are free from COVID-19 before they are allowed to resume work. For faster results, the migrant workers will be tested for both COVID-19 and the presence of its antibodies.

    Tzu Chi: TCM Free Clinic resumes operation
    Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Redhill) and TCM Free Clinic (Khatib) resume operations as the government ease restrictions.

  • 14 May

    [Confirmed cases: 26098]

    Singapore: Military ambulance converted to mobile swab station
    To allow quicker testing of COVID-19, the Singapore Armed Forces, the Defence Science and Technology Agency, and technology, defence and engineering group ST Engineering jointly develop a mobile swab station (MSS), which is converted from a military ambulance. The MSS not only provides a safer testing environment for the medical swab teams, it is also easily deployed to various places.

    Tzu Chi: Equipping dormitory of migrant workers who are confirmed cases
    Volunteers visit a newly completed migrant workers' dormitory which will be occupied by 1628 workers. While it is still vacant, volunteers equip the housing facility with items such as blessing packages, displaying Jing Si Aphorisms in Bengali and Tamil, setting up rest area for healthcare workers and tea corner, etc.
    (News: Offering companionship for migrant workers quarantined in isolation facility)

    timeline 20200514
  • 15 May

    [Confirmed cases: 26891]

    Singapore: Government announces "Safe Working and Safe Living" measure for migrant workers
    Intensive swap testing and health monitoring initiatives will be implemented to identify mild or asymptomatic sick workers in order to provide them with early treatment.

    Tzu Chi: Launch webinar series for entrepreneur volunteers
    Entrepreneur volunteers launched seven webinar series to share with enterprises and the public how to survive the challenges of the pandemic.
    (News: Entrepreneurs share personal experiences online amid COVID-19)

  • 16 May

    [Confirmed cases: 27356]

    Singapore: Develops world's first test that detects the presence of neutralising antibodies
    Singapore develops the cPass serology test that can detect past infection within an hour. The test is also the world's first rapid testing that detects the presence of neutralising antibodies.

    Tzu Chi: Prepares Hari Raya's supplies for care recipients.
    In the past, Hari Raya Open House was celebrated at Jing Si Hall. This year, volunteers pack Hari Raya supplies at Jing Si Hall and delivers to Muslim care recipients on a 1-to-1 basis.
    (News: Tzu Chi’s Hari Raya Celebration / Handwriting Raya greetings for our Muslim care recipients)

    timeline 20200516
  • 17 May

    [Confirmed cases: 28038]

    Singapore: 140,000 employers to get $4 billion in Jobs Support Scheme
    Ministry of Finance announced the scheme as part of the more than $20 billion budget the Government has committed to help local firms retain their workers.

    Tzu Chi: Serve frontline staff in migrant worker dormitory
    Three volunteers who meet the health standards take turns to provide food and beverage daily for medical staff and dormitory staff at the migrant worker dormitory safe zone. A Tzu Chi nurse joined the medical team at the same dormitory after training.

    timeline 20200517
  • 18 May

    [Confirmed cases: 28343]

    Singapore: About 6,000 preschool staff have completed their coronary disease testing
    In order to facilitate all pre-school education centers to resume classes, the government has completed COVID-19 testing for about 6,000 preschool education staff. The testing will continue until the 26th.

    Tzu Chi: An online lesson assistance program is launched to help schooling children
    22 Tzu Ching and 43 volunteers have launched an online lesson assistance program to provide online lesson for 22 children from disadvantaged families for a month.
    (News: Tzu Chings turn tutors to assist students with their schoolwork / Tzu Chings turn mentors to assist students with their schoolwork)

  • 20 May

    [Confirmed cases: 29364]

    Singapore: Exiting Circuit breaker on a three-phased approach
    To avoid the second wave of outbreaks, Singapore will gradually re-open in three phases. The phase one allow reopening of most business, schools and preschool, as well as healthcare services and Senior Activity Centres.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Young volunteers compose song to cheer for frontliners

    In a video posted on social media platform, twenty-five Tzu Ching and Tzu Ching seniors presented the self-composed COVID-19 song "Together, We Give" with singing and sign language to express their gratitude to frontline workers.

    Fourth batch of handmade fabric masks are delivered to migrant workers
    The fourth batch of 12,846 cloth masks made by 183 volunteers are sent to the Migrant Workers' Centre for distribution to the migrant workers at various dormitories.

    timeline 20200520
  • 28 May

    [Confirmed cases: 35292]

    Singapore: Primary one registration goes online
    Registration for children starting Primary 1 next year will be completely online, by using SingPass. There will not be any in-person registration at schools.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi staff completes the tasks as frontliner at Community Care Facility
    Lim Mee Nguk, a nurse at Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic, fulfilled her obligations as medical staff at Tuas Community Care Facility since 15 May.
    (News: “We are here to support you”)

  • 1 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 35292]

    Singapore: 1000 digital ambassadors recruit help 100,000 stallholders and seniors go online
    As part of efforts to accelerate digital adoption in Singapore's post COVID-19 economic recovery. A thousand digital ambassadors will cover all hawker centres and wet markets to encourage stallholders and seniors to adopt e-payment.

    Tzu Chi: "Epidemic Relief Programme for Tzu Chi Care Recipients" is completed
    Relief programme that responds to epidemic, government initiatives, and accomodation to the actual needs of care recipients has completed. Tzu Chi will strengthen its care for the elderly living alone.
    (News: Right relief for the right care recipients at the right time)

  • 2 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 35836]

    Singapore: Circuit breaker officially ended
    Safety measures have been relaxed, some do not need to work or study at home, and public transportation services frequency have resumed.

    Tzu Chi: 
    Volunteers decorate Tampines Temporary Migrant Worker Dormitory

    Volunteers assist to decorate the refurbished former Qiaonan Primary School site to house healthy migrant workers.

    Partial business resumed for Tzu Chi Establishments
    Jing Si Hall's reception and Jing Si Book Hut, Great Love Student Care Centre @ Sembawang, Jing Si Books and Café (Sim Ave) and Jing Si Book and Café (Yishun) resumed business. Tzu Chi Great Love PreSchool (Toa Payoh) officially inaugurated.
    (News: School starts at Toa Payoh Great Love PreSchool)

    timeline 20200602
  • 4 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 36922]

    Singapore: Eligible SMEs get rental waiver for up to four months
    The government mandates landlords to fund for up to two-month base rent waiver for commercial, industrial and office properties. Coupled with government co-sharing obligation, eligible SMEs will receive rental waiver for up to four months for temporary economic relief.

    Tzu Chi: Free vegetarian lunch to medical staff
    Vegetarian restaurant owner regularly provide free vegetarian lunches to medical staff on behalf of Tzu Chi.
    (News: Supporting medical front liners with free vegetarian meal delivery)

    timeline 20200604
  • 5 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 37183]

    Singapore: Cash payout for low and middle-income Singaporean
    Low and mid-income Singaporeans who are over 49 years old and have at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and under will receive $1,000 in June to help them with living costs.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi and Maybank SG jointly launch Art Project “Stay Home Quilt”
    Partnering with Maybank, 3Pumpkins Community Arts Lab and artist, Jimmy Ong , the art project titled "Stay Home Quilt" aim to invite 550 migrant workers to express themselves through art. Fifth batch of 13,200 masks sewn by 159 volunteers were handed over to Migrant Workers’ Centre for distribution.
    (News: Tzu Chi Partners with Maybank to Launch Art Project and Donate Handmade Masks to Migrant Workers / Tzu Chi launches a new art project for migrant workers)

    timeline 20200605
  • 10 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 38965]

    Singapore: Proactive screening of essential workers from construction industry and marine sector
    Community cases has increased from an average of four cases per day to an average of nine cases per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers prepare relief packs for infected migrant workers
    Tzu Ching and volunteers packed 1,509 relief packs for infected migrant workers of Ang Mo Kio Community Care Facility on 10th and 11th June.

    timeline 20200610
  • 13 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 40197]

    Singapore: Cancellation of the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2020
    The Host is unable to proceed with the race due to the prohibitions imposed on access and construction of the event venue, restriction of mass gathering and worldwide travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers prepare relief packs and decorate rooms at isolation facility 
    Seventy volunteers have prepared relief packs and decorated the rooms for the dormitory, which can accommodate about 1,400 healthy migrant workers.

    timeline 20200613
  • 14 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 40604]

    Singapore: Appointments now needed for those remitting money
    Foreign domestic workers must continue to stay at home during their rest days. Anyone who wants to send money overseas must make appointments with remittance agencies beforehand.

    Tzu Chi: Tzu Chi holds an online appreciation session to thank volunteers who helped sew the fabric masks
    145 volunteers who helped to sew cloth masks have attended the online "Love Needle Thread" appreciation session.

  • 19 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 41615]

    Singapore: Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening
    Shopping malls, retail, sports facilities will be opened. Eateries and hawker centres dine-in will also be allowed.

    Tzu Chi: Telecommuting remains the default mode of working arrangement for majority of the staff
    Staff of General Affairs, Finance, and Jing Si Books Hut are allowed to work from Jing Si Hall at designated working hours, with safety measures.

  • 20 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 41833]

    Singapore: Wastewater testing under way in Singapore to tackle COVID-19
    The NEA's Environmental Health Institute developed methodology for wastewater testing for COVID-19 to monitor and determine the viral material concentration at the wastewater and prevalence of COVID-19 in Singapore.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers decorate former SEAB foreign worker dormitory
    More than 20 volunteers decorated the former Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board foreign worker dormitory in Geylang Bahru with Tzu-Chi's Aphorisms poster in four languages ​​(Bengali, Tamil, Chinese and English).

    timeline 20200620
  • 28 Jun

    [Confirmed cases: 43459]

    Singapore: Singapore and Malaysia to set up green lane and commuting arrangement
    The Reciprocal Green Lane will facilitate cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries. Travellers would have to adhere to a set of COVID-19 prevention and public health measures.

    Tzu Chi: Volunteers decorate Jurong Big Box community care facility
    67 Tzu Chi volunteers and staff have decorated the Jurong Big Box community care facility with JingSi Aphorisms posters and environmental protection posters to welcome the 2,900 mild symptoms patients.

    timeline 20200628
  • 9 Jul

    [Confirmed cases: 45422]

    Singapore: Man tested positive died from cardiorespiratory failure
    Community case has dropped slightly to nine cases per day. The man was found unresponsive at home and confirmed positive at hospital, the preliminary cause of death was cardio-respiratory failure.

    Tzu Chi: Community care for migrant worker
    Ten volunteers and artist Jimmy Ong have completed a number of artworks with 25 healthy migrant workers and donated them to "Stay Home Quilt" Art Project.

    timeline 20200709
  • 10 Jul

    [Confirmed cases: 45613]

    Singapore: Singapore General Election is held during COVID-19
    The 2020 Singapore General Election was successfully held during Post-Circuit Breaker Phase 2

(Last updated on 17 Jul 2020)


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