Wuhan virus: Singapore to support aid with $1m, medical supplies

Singapore Red Cross volunteers delivering humanitarian aid to communities in China affected by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. (PHOTO: Singapore Red Cross)
Singapore Red Cross volunteers delivering humanitarian aid to communities in China affected by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. (PHOTO: Singapore Red Cross)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore government will provide $1 million seed in funding, as well as medicine, medical supplies and laboratory diagnostic test kits, to communities in China severely affected by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

According to a media release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Tuesday (4 February), Singapore will be supporting efforts by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), trade associations and chambers, companies and local community organisations to launch a public appeal to raise funds to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected communities.

“Singapore wishes China well in its efforts to fight the nCoV (novel coronavirus),” MFA said in the media release.

“The viral epidemic is a common threat to all of us. Singapore is confident that through close cooperation, China, Singapore and the rest of the international community will overcome this challenge.”

On Wednesday, OCBC Bank also announced that it will be donating RMB1 million (S$197,000) in support of the Singapore government’s initiative. The donation, also to be made through the SRC, will similarly help fund medicine, medical supplies for the community, as well as lab diagnostic test kits for the virus.

SRC launches appeal for donations

On the same day, the SRC launched a public appeal for donations to support the communities in China affected by the Wuhan virus, and welcomes the seed money contributed by the government.

A two-man team will be going to the Asia Pacific office of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Kuala Lumpur to discuss strategies and areas of possible SRC support.

Another SRC staff member will be deployed to the IFRC Asia Pacific office for the next few weeks to support response efforts. SRC will also be deploying a staffer in Beijing to work directly with the Red Cross Movement response team there.

“We expect the outbreak to continue to spread in China and geographically with the number of new cases rising in the next days and weeks. Our planned response at this point is focused on assisting the communities worst affected in China,” said SRC chief executive officer Benjamin William.

“Our response plan will be adjusted based on ongoing developments and assessments. We look forward to working with organisations to support the relief efforts.”

In Singapore, SRC has been engaging communities to promote behaviours that reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus, and to facilitate community understanding and acceptance of infection prevention and control measures.

Its volunteers are providing advice to beneficiaries, especially vulnerable elderly persons, to help to prevent misinformation, rumours and panic.

How to donate to SRC’s humanitarian aid

The public can donate to SRC’s humanitarian assistance to China in three ways:

  • Online donation,

  • Cash donation to SRC’s office at Penang Road (Office hours: 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday),

  • Cheque donation to be posted to: Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486. Please make cheque payable to “Singapore Red Cross Society”. Leave your name, postal address and indicate “Coronavirus Response 2020” at the back of your cheque.

Please note that donations to overseas efforts are not tax-deductible.

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