Ho Ching Defends Migrant Workers, Rebuts Viral Message From 'ex-nurse'
They were accused of being "disgustingly unhygienic", had "all sorts of illnesses" and did not want to recover in order to continue enjoying their "comfortable stay".
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the community may be petering out but something a little more insidious has been spreading online.
Responding to various posts and videos accusing migrant workers of being “unhygienic”, Temasek chief executive and executive director Ho Ching took to Facebook on May 19 to speak up for the workers, calling the claims “rubbish”.
An unverified message attributed to the friend of an ‘ex-nurse’ working at a local community care facility made its rounds on the internet earlier this week, alleging that migrant workers were “disgustingly unhygienic”, had “all sorts of illnesses” and did not want to recover in order to continue enjoying their “comfortable stay”.
Ho Ching Defends Migrant Workers
Separately, a video of a crowd of migrant workers queueing for food at the Changi Exhibition Centre Community Care Facility (CCF) was also shared widely, along with the accusation that the workers were having a “mass gathering”.
Explaining that patients in community care facilities are not confined to their rooms, Ho wrote: “this issue about migrant worker patients being unhygienic by mixing around is just rubbish.”
“And if this is supposedly an observation by an ex-nurse, that ‘nurse’ has a lot to learn, to put it politely,” she added.
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, which is the managing agent at the CCF, also told AsiaOne that the patients “do not pose risks to one another” as they are all COVID-19 positive.
After the implementation of enhanced measures to improve queue management and stagger meal timings, the situation has “improved significantly’ since the video was filmed on May 10, the company clarified.
The claims that the workers at the facility suffer from illnesses such as diabetes also revealed that he or she is “either ignorant or throwing smoke”, Ho said.
In actual fact, patients housed at CCFs are those with mild symptoms and lower risk factors, the Ministry of Health said in April.
Ho went on to suggest that recovered migrant workers could be “valuable resources”.
If it is possible to test and confirm the presence of neutralising antibodies, an indication of immunity to the virus, recovered workers could even help out in various areas, from swabbing to deep cleaning dormitories, she said.
“With that, it becomes a form of self-help, a gotong royong (helping one another), not just among Singaporeans and non-dorm residents, but also among our migrant workers.
“After all, at heart, we are all human beings.”
While immunity against COVID-19 would certainly come in handy, there is currently no evidence that recovered patients are protected against re-infection, the World Health Organisation said in April.
Lead image adapted from Facebook/Joseph Nathan, Ho Ching via AsiaOne
This post was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
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