You may be wringing your (washed?) hands as the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Singapore and all over the world. The outlook doesn’t look good at the moment, but Singapore does have the situation under control, and there’s something you can do.
How to protect yourself and your loved ones
Adopt good personal hygiene habits. As we visit shared spaces, in particular high-traffic public places such as public toilets and hawker centres, keep in mind that cleanliness is really important.
Are you a highly hygienic person? Have a look at these “7 Habits of Good Public Hygiene” see how many of them you practice.
1. Hand-some rewards
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, it kills viruses that may be on your hands!
2. Second time’s the charm
Monitor your temperature twice daily – being “hot” is not a compliment!
3. No issue with a tissue
Use tissues when you sneeze or cough to avoid causing an issue for others. Droplets spread viruses!
4. Bin there, done that
Bin litter, used masks and tissues
5. Without a tray(s)
Eat on food trays where possible, return your trays and keep tables clean, leave no trace of waste
6. No-fly zone
Keep your surroundings clean, well-ventilated and pest-free
7. Get to the bottom (of cleanliness)
Keep toilets clean and dry
We’ll also need to make changes to some things we do daily. We should all:
- Refrain from shaking hands;
- Use serving spoons when sharing food.
On top of this, stay home if you’re feeling unwell and do not go to work or attend social gatherings. Remember to practice safe distancing. Many clusters in Singapore can be traced to someone with symptoms attending a gathering although ill.
Raising hygiene standards – the SG Clean movement
Launched on 16 Feb 2020, the SG Clean movement calls on all Singaporeans to adopt good personal and environmental hygiene habits. It also calls on organisations to adhere to sanitation and hygiene checklists by authorities.
Increased inspection and cleaning of public places
Since end-January 2020, NEA has stepped up inspection of public toilets, finding and fixing hygiene gaps like missing soap lotion. Also, since early February 2020, cleaning of public places of high human traffic has been stepped up, like table-tops and toilets in hawker centres being cleaned every two hours. NEA has also increased enforcement against public hygiene offences, like spitting and littering.
Amendments to the Environmental Public Health Act
To ensure high standards of cleanliness in Singapore, amendments to set mandatory cleaning standards will be made to the Environmental Public Health Act later this year. Premise managers will also need submit and implement an environmental sanitation programme.
SG Clean quality mark
The SG Clean quality mark, a marker of whether a place’s cleanliness is of a high standard, has been rolled out hawker centres and coffee shops. Those with the quality mark will have to commit and adhere to sector-specific sanitation and hygiene checklists, covering areas such as management oversight, cleaning methodology, toilet cleanliness, and general public hygiene.
It is being rolled out to various sectors, covering premises with high human traffic, like hawker centres, train stations and bus interchanges, schools, hotels, tourist attractions, shopping malls and so on.
Everyone has a part to play in keeping Singapore clean to fight the spread of COVID-19. Keeping up a high level of personal and raising public hygiene standards together will help reduce risks to public health from the COVID-19 situation and beyond.