In his letter, “Uncertified absenteeism can affect companies’ operations” (Feb 25), Mr J.A. Bragassam felt that medical certificates (MCs) are still needed from employees infected by Covid-19.
The insistence by some employers for MCs from workers who had self-tested positive for Covid-19 has contributed to many patients, with mild or no symptoms, making unnecessary visits to general practitioner clinics, polyclinics and hospitals’ emergency departments mainly to obtain an MC.
This adds workload to healthcare workers who are already under stress, and it compromises the standard of care for other patients who genuinely require medical care.
Our tripartite partners – the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress – agree that a photograph of a positive antigen rapid test (ART) result or a video of the worker taking the ART should suffice.
Should they really require an official record, they may ask their workers to undergo a supervised ART at one of the combined test centres or quick test centres islandwide.
These tests will be fully funded by the Government until March 15, and the result will be reflected in one’s HealthHub status within 30 minutes. An SMS notification will also be sent, which can be used as documentary proof of past infection.
No worker wishes to fall ill. In fact, having been infected once and recovered, they will be less susceptible to another Covid-19 episode.
This means the firms’ workforce will eventually become more resilient along with the rest of society.
Then Yee Thoong
Labour Relations and Workplaces Division
Ministry of Manpower
Dinesh Vasu Dash
Crisis Strategy and Operations Group
Ministry of Health