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Remarks by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, at the National Day Anthem Moment at National Centre for Infectious Diseases, 9 August 2020, 9.45am

Colleagues and friends

First, let me wish everyone a Happy National Day!

1.            This year, all across the island, Singaporeans are celebrating our 55th year of independence in novel ways. We are not able to meet in large groups to commemorate this day because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are holding virtual celebrations and posting their wishes and aspirations for Singapore online. Throughout this weekend, NDP2020 will be brought into every Singaporean’s home. Our National Day celebrations, while reduced in physical scale, are not any less meaningful than before.

2.            This morning, for example, we will sing the National Anthem together across different parts of the island. This is particularly meaningful for us at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). It is a recognition of the role healthcare family plays, especially in our fight against COVID-19. Indeed, healthcare and health have always been key pillars of our society’s progress. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contributions of our healthcare workers and healthcare institutions, not just in NCID, but all over Singapore and in all healthcare institutions, are even more pertinent.

3.            It has been more than six months since our first COVID-19 patients emerged. Today the pandemic still shows no sign of abating globally. Our healthcare workers have faced tremendous challenges and made many personal sacrifices over these months. Yet you have persevered in playing your part at the frontline of Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your dedication, courage and resilience.

4.            The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted economies around the world. Singapore is not insulated from this impact. The lives and livelihoods of many Singaporeans have been affected, and the road to recovery will be long and tough. But I am confident the COVID-19 virus will not break our Singapore spirit of grit, resilience, determination and unity.

5.            The theme of this year’s National Day is “Together, a stronger Singapore”. As we sing our National Anthem in our heart later, let us unite as one people. Let us renew our pledge to stay resolute and press on together to overcome obstacles and build a brighter future for Singapore. Just as we have triumphed over past adversities, we will similarly emerge stronger from this crisis, because we are Singapore, and we are Singaporeans.

6.            Happy National Day!

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