I have been trying to give the MOH the benefit of the doubt with regards to the H1N1 thingy because it's just been such a difficult position for the Ministry to be in. But day by day, its indecisiveness is getting more and more disappointing and frustrating. And the growing public confusion is worrying.
Where are we now, and what is the real strategy with regards this infection? Do we take this seriously not not?
The MOH website doesn't contain much more than the latest stats, and an uninformative statement - "Though the number of infected cases has increased, the severity of the disease remains relatively mild. .... Singaporeans should carry on with their usual activities whilst observing good personal hygiene at all times. If unwell, they should see a doctor, stay away from work, school or crowded places, and rest at home."
Ummm...so helpful lor. If it's 'relatively mild' why this concern about staying away etc etc...?
The Straits Times today quotes an unidentified spokesman as saying "We are now preparing to manage the disease in a more targeted and risk-stratified manner".
Ummmm....that's even less helpful I am afraid.
And neither is the ST report from that interview, that Singapore is preparing to switch to the mitigation phase of dealing with the H1N1. Whatever that means. I mean, we are either containing or mitigating... being told that we are preparing to move to mitigation is like saying we want to be there, we should be there and we are going to be there. But where are we exactly?
Clearly the public is confused. And I really don't blame them.
Do we need to still control movement / contact and do voluntary home quarantine? Are all these temperature monitoring really necessary? There is just such a confusing array of containment strategies out in the schools and workplaces, that even more puzzling when you consider we are actually moving (preparing to switch?) to mitigation.
If we are not going to treat all H1N1 cases, and we are not going to swab all flu cases, why do we need, as the spokesman said, to "call 993 for an ambulance" if travelers get flu-like symptoms within a week of return from affected countries?
If the MOH wants the public to be participatory and to be engaged in the management of epidemics/pandemics such as this, information and instructions must be clear and unambiguous. Why do we keep fueling this paranoia if we are really not going to do anything substantive about it?
And we are really not having that clarity of mission at the moment.
5 years ago