Contributor: Benjienen Toledo
Aside from workplace disinfection carried out by companies like Ohmyhome, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued a general advisory for workplace measures in response to Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) orange situation announced on 7 February 2020.
Singapore’s Pandemic Preparedness
Implemented by the Ministry of Health (MOH), DORSCON is a colour-coded framework that shows you the current disease situation. It takes into account both disease severity and spread to predict the impact on the community with the goal of being prepared for any pandemic.
According to the MOH, it is hard to predict when a pandemic may strike Singapore. In the last decade, the country has experienced two pandemics:
- 2003- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- 2009- H1N1 influenza
But what has really changed after the DORSCON orange situation?
Workplace Measures Amidst COVID-19
1. Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
My colleague who was on mandatory LOA worked from home for the entire 14 days. Thankfully, she is well and has returned to work.
2. Temperature Taking
We have an appointed flu manager who takes our temperature at 9 am and 3 pm daily. If ever someone has an elevated temperature, he/she is immediately ordered to go home.
3. Serving of Fruits
Our office promotes efforts to boost our team’s immune system. We can always get nutritious fresh fruits, juices, reduced-sugar drinks, and milk from our office pantry.
4. Observing Personal Health and Hygiene
This practice can’t be overemphasized. Our open-space workplace is rarely disrupted by coughing or even sneezing. Everyone is more conscious of taking care of their own health. Moreover, sanitisers are available in strategic locations in the building and inside the office.
No wonder, World Health Organisation (WHO) officials praised the Singapore government for its efforts in combating the COVID-19 and its commitment to not “leave any stones unturned.” A recent study estimates Singapore is picking up three times more cases than other countries due to its disease surveillance and contact-tracing capacity.
In the Government’s latest move to contain the outbreak, the MOH activated more than 600 general practitioner clinics across the island on 18 February. These clinics provide subsidised treatment and medication for people with respiratory symptoms. To date, Singapore has quarantined over 2,000 people.
The families of foreign workers overseas may be anxious about their loved ones’ health and safety in Singapore. But these workplace measures bring reassurance that we are fortunate to consider Singapore a home away from home.
We understand that moving to a new city can be challenging, but with our highly experienced team, we make it easy and fun for you!