Minister Lawrence Wong, in his announcement recently on how the Singapore government plans to combat the spread of the Nova corona virus more commonly referred to as the Wuhan virus, said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be giving $100 a day allowance for those people who are quarantined for the Virus. Those quarantined was to prevent the spread of the virus, seeing that they are potential virus carriers having had interactions with those already affected.
Minister Wong further outlined that the total sun will be given to the employers for those who are employed, and those employed have been assured that they will still receive their usual salary. For those who are self-employed, they will be given the sum directly. The sum, of course, equates to $1400 for the whole duration of the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days, days spent staying in a free facility sequestered by the government for this purpose. So far, the confirmed cases in Singapore have all been imported cases, meaning they have come directly from persons who had been in Wuhan. It is not known how many of those quarantined for suspected cases are locals, and how many of those are self-employed.
Many Singaporeans are now asking whether this figure is an overkill for the government, as the money used will obviously be out of the tax payers pockets. While it makes sense for the self-employed to be compensated for being quarantined, especially the taxi drivers, delivery riders or any others whose income depends on how they go out and carry out their jobs, does it make sense for the those who are salaried employees to be compensated? While it can be argued that their employers would lose working hours due to those quarantined, is the $100 a day figure too high?
And don’t get started on tourists who come to Singapore and getting quarantined. Should they be given the $100 a day too? Surely, the tourists are covered by their own insurance policies. For a country that still pays $500 monthly to NS recruits for their months long stay on Pulau Tekong, and government hospitals charging almost $100 for consultation and medication, it does seem like the government of the day sees it fit to immediately spend on quarantined people than solving their own citizen’s bread and butter issues like huge medical care fees.