SINGAPORE: The discrimination of some healthcare workers due to suspicions of close contact with coronavirus cases is "disgraceful", Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin has said.
“There's one issue that I would like to comment on, which is on discrimination faced by our healthcare officers,” he told reporters on Wednesday (Feb 12).
“We have read reports of nurses being asked not to take the lift, take the stairs instead. Nurses have been asked to leave the train ... Ambulance drivers being asked not to buy food, so as not to contaminate others," said Mr Amrin.
“These are very unfortunate incidents, and it's very disgraceful.”
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Mr Amrin’s comments came after several reports of healthcare workers being ostracised in public due to concerns over the new virus.
“It does not reflect the best of us Singaporeans,” he continued. “In times or crisis, we must stand together and stand united, and these are people, ordinary men and women who have served Singapore in this time.
“Some of them have volunteered their services, come in and stepped up. I think they deserve our support and encouragement.
“I urge all Singaporeans to encourage them and to recognise their contributions in this moment.”
Mr Amrin urged Singaporeans to “condemn the disgraceful acts” by a minority, and make it clear that these acts do not represent Singaporeans.
“We are better than that,” he added. “And we will show Singapore and the world who we really are.”
Mr Amrin said the public should not be alarmed as all emergency medical crew will wear personal protective equipment when responding to all calls, not just suspected coronavirus cases.
“The ambulance, after conveying a suspect case, will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, so the public should rest assured,” he stated.
Mr Amrin was speaking at the Singapore Civil Defence Force headquarters where he met frontline officers who had attended suspected coronavirus cases.
“I'm here to say thank you to the men and women who have bravely served Singapore in this moment of need,” he said.
“They have stepped up. Many of them have said they are also anxious, but despite that they continue to perform duties required of them and I think they deserve to be honoured."