Singapore Red Cross raises more than S$100,000 in public donations to help communities in China affected by coronavirus

Singapore Red Cross raises more than S$100,000 in public donations to help communities in China affected by coronavirus

Neighbourhoods in China have ramped up checks on residents returning from virus-hit Hubei province
Neighbourhoods in China have ramped up checks on residents returning from virus-hit Hubei province. (Photo: AFP/Noel Celis) 

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross has collected more than S$100,000 to help communities in China affected, or at risk of being affected, by the novel coronavirus as of Wednesday evening (Feb 5), said CEO Benjamin William.

This excludes the Government’s S$1 million contribution in seed money.

Mr William, who is also the secretary-general of the Singapore Red Cross, said that public interest has been “heartening”, and that he expected “more individuals and organisations to come forward in the days and weeks ahead”.

“While we are not accepting ad-hoc in-kind donations, we welcome donations towards our fundraising appeal, for more effective and efficient response,” he said.

READ: 4 locally transmitted cases among new coronavirus patients in Singapore

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PROVIDE MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND ENGAGE COMMUNITIES

Singapore Red Cross's Mr William told CNA that donations will go towards buying supplies and engaging with local communities.

“Given the shortage of supplies globally and within China, we will support areas such as logistics procurement, coordination, storage and distribution,” he said.

Singapore Red Cross will also purchase medical supplies and consumables like test kits, sanitisers, and personal protective equipment like hazmat suits and masks, which the charity understands are in short supply”.

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: Hong Kong to quarantine all arrivals from mainland China

READ: Two Malaysians evacuated from Wuhan tested positive for novel coronavirus

Funds will also go to community engagement efforts, mass communication of health messages and community preparedness, said Mr William.

“Our planned response at this point is focused on assisting the communities worst affected in China. Our response plan will be adjusted based on ongoing developments and assessments.”

COORDINATING THE GLOBAL RED CROSS MOVEMENT

Singapore Red Cross has sent two people to the Asia Pacific Office of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to discuss strategies and areas of possible support, added Mr William.

“Besides discussing the specific areas of support by the SRC (Singapore Red Cross), this advance team will also organise and lay the groundwork for the subsequent deployments by SRC,” he said.

Other deployments include one person to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Asia Pacific Office in Kuala Lumpur, and one person to Beijing to work with the global Red Cross Movement response team on the ground.

READ: Town councils step up cleaning at high human traffic areas to counter coronavirus

Singapore Red Cross expects to deploy both in the coming weeks, and will be deployed for two to three months.

The charity has also been engaging Singaporeans to “promote behaviours that reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus, and to facilitate community understanding and acceptance of infection prevention and control measures”, said Mr William.

It has also reached out to beneficiaries “to help prevent misinformation, rumours and panic”, and posted “informative prevention messages” on social media.

Donations can be made online through the Red Cross’ website. More information on cash and cheque donations can also be found on the website.

Also pledging support for the Singapore Red Cross public appeal are Business China, together with the Trade Associations and Chambers such as the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Singapore Business Federation. 

Business China said in a press release that it had collected S$377,520 as of 4pm on Wednesday.

“We are heartened and encouraged by the very positive response from our members and from friends outside Business China’s network … Every contribution is a show of strength and solidarity, as the Singapore community supports China and the world in fighting the novel coronavirus,” said CEO Tin Pei Ling.

Source: CNA/cc(rw)

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