Singapore launches “circuit breaker” to minimize spread of COVID-19
To curb the spreading of COVID-19, the Singapore government has launched a stricter social distancing measure which starts from 7 April 7 to 4 May, also known as the “circuit breaker”. Essential businesses will continue to operate even when schools and most workplaces must be closed or shifted online. All food and beverage outlets will continue to operate on delivery or takeaway basis as no more dining at hawker centres, restaurants and all other food outlets is allowed. A few days before the implementation of the latest measures, the National Environment Agency had invited Tzu Chi volunteers to visit a number of hawker centres to encourage the public to bring their own food containers for takeaways, reduce outings and maintain a safe distance between people. The cooperation from everyone is needed to fight COVID-19.
Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong
We have decided to tighten our measures to try to reduce the contact between people.
Singapore continues to see new high of infected cases in a day recently, prompting the government to launch a circuit breaker that aims to step up on the preventive measures including tightening of border control and ordering entertainment centres, tuition centres and senior activity centres to be temporarily closed. This is to enhance safe distancing for a month beginning 7 April. Apart from essential services, all other operations must stop or shift online to reduce the movement of people which would reduce the risk of viral transmission.
This is a leaflet printed in four languages, advising people to keep one meter apart when queuing.
A few days before the new measure is officially launched, the National Environment Agency invited Tzu Chi volunteers to promote the relevant information to the public at hawker centres. People are urged to bring their own food container for takeaway as well.
Tzu Chi volunteer
People can no longer dine in starting this coming Tuesday. Please try to bring your own containers for takeaways.
Member of the public, Dorothy Tan
I do bring my own containers; my main aim is to protect the environment.
Stall owner, Ng Lee Tuck
Do you usually encourage people to do so (bring their own containers)? Yes, I do. When the new measures start to kick in next Tuesday, if everyone takeaway their food using single use containers, it would be very detrimental to our environment, I am quite worried actually, let’s just do our best.
Tzu Chi volunteer vs members of the public
(Don’t go out?) Correct, don’t go out. (Can I go out to buy food?) You can do takeaways.
The sudden news has left some elderly still unclear of the situation. The presence of the volunteers has allowed them to release their emotions too.
Tzu Chi volunteer, Khor Chin Seng
We lend them our ears to express their feelings, what we are doing is to relieve others from fear and to calm them down.
The new measures will inevitably affect the convenience we are so used to, but at an unusual time like this, everyone needs to cooperate and strictly perform our social responsibilities in order to curb the spreading of the pandemic as soon as possible.