We all know that during this critical period of time where the spread of the COVID-19 virus is rampant, the frontline workers are the ones who have been braving the storm and battling against it.

Many of them are working long hours just to treat as many patients as they can, and they’re doing this while risking their lives.

Many healthcare workers – more than 3,000 – in China have already been infected with COVID-19, but they still continue to work because they know how much their patients need them.

Previously, as a way to show appreciation, McDonald’s announced that all healthcare workers in Singapore will be entitled to redeem a free coffee or tea as long as they’re in their uniform or flash their hospital pass.

An Additional Month’s Bonus

Now, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has announced that all frontline public officers battling against COVID-19 will be given a special one month bonus as a means to recognise their valor in “a tangible way”.

He said during his round-up speech to the Budget debate in Parliament, “The selflessness and commitment of our healthcare workers have shone through as they bravely care for those affected and tirelessly work to contain the spread of the virus. They are an inspiration to all of us, and their spirit of excellence has been recognised around the world. While we cannot thank them enough, we will show our appreciation and support in a tangible way. The Government will award public officers on the frontline who are directly battling the COVID-19 disease, up to one additional month of special bonus.”

According to him, those battling the disease directly include healthcare officers in the Ministry of Health and the hospitals, as well as all other officers in frontline agencies who have been directly involved.

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He did not, however, name the agencies.

He also added that those public officers who have contributed significantly will be given recognition in appropriate ways.

One-Time COVID-19 Grant

In his speech, he mentioned that Singapore will be offering a one-time COVID-19 grant to the 900 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) that were activated to deal with COVID-19.

This is the Government’s way of showing their support for these clinics’ “active role in caring for patients with respiratory symptoms”.

As a way to end off, Mr Heng said, “This gesture, plus the many words of encouragement and acts of consideration and kindness, is our way to express to you, ‘We salute you’.”

To all public officers on the frontline battling against COVID-19, thank you for your service.

Image: Giphy

And oh, did you know that Mr Heng himself is also not getting a month’s salary?

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