Sunday, May 03, 2009

Singapore Fights Swine Flu (H1N1 virus): the Missing Link

It is applaudable that Singapore responds swifty to contain any outbreak of the H1N1 disease in Singapore. The pandemic alert has been raised from Yellow to Orange by the Ministry of Health in tandem with the elevation of the pandemic level by the World Health Organization. Thermal scanning stations have been placed in almost all key installations and organizations.

Singapore has also resumed the ‘Singapore OK’ campaigns where hawker centres are required to clean their stalls thoroughly. Besides these initiatives, Singaporeans are encouraged to clean their hands thoroughly and to exercise regularly to build their immune systems.

It seems that Singapore has taken a comprehensive approach towards the combat of the H1N1 virus, however amidst all the slew of measures taken, I would like to caution that there is a missing link, that the authorities have always overlooked.

That missing link is the door of toilets! Not all of the public toilets in Singapore are ‘doorless’. Many toilets residing in hawker centres, busy bus interchanges, food centres and even clinic still have doors! Yes, one can wash his hand so thoroughly and bacteria-free after using the loos but as he exits from the toilet, he opens the door and my goodness, all the bacteria, germs and viruses left on the door handle of the toilet are again transferred to his or her hands, hence does it matter if Singaporeans wash their hands thoroughly?

Thus I would like to advocate ALL TOILETS IN SINGAPORE TO GO ‘DOOR-FREE’! The toilet doors in public toilets in our island contain a multitude of viruses, bacteria and germs that users of these toilets have (without a choice) to pick up, just to exit the toilets.

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