For us and the rest of the world, 2020 started on a very different note. The novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), is an infectious disease which has since spread globally, resulting in an ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The first case of Covid-19 in Singapore was confirmed on 23 January. On 7 February, the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level was raised from Yellow to Orange after more cases surfaced. As the nation stepped up to address the situation, we played our part and followed the updates and advisories closely to ensure adherence and timely response to these regulations.
Challenges and Measures Taken
With the evolving of the pandemic situation in both China and Singapore, travel restrictions were tightened. As such, a few faculty members who were due to arrive in Singapore were unable to do so. In order to minimise disruptions to our MBA program, arrangements were made to bring forward the courses taught by local lecturers. At the start of April, the Ministry of Education had issued guidelines to move all lessons online. After gathering feedback from students, a consensus was formed to temporarily suspend classes. Plans to start providing lectures online are ongoing.
With the tighter measures announced earlier by the Singapore government to contain the disease, our E2S2-CREATE segment had also put in efforts to control the number of staff coming into contact by either distancing, imposing time-limits or postponing certain activities. Temperature-taking exercises were also conducted twice daily as per the National Research Foundation and NUS’ requirements. Later on, all personnel were segregated into two alternate teams with different work schedules.
After the announcement of the nationwide ‘circuit breaker’ measures on 3 April, all staff have been working from home, returning only when necessary and with prior approval from their directors. Online meetings are being held on a regular basis to update on progress and check in with each other.
In times of crisis like this, it is only apt that we take the time and opportunity to better prepare ourselves for the future. Apart from refining our business continuity plans and streamlining certain processes, we are also currently looking into expanding our faculty to include more Singapore-based members. For more details on recruitment, please refer to this post.
Sending Warmth and Upholding the SJTU Spirit
With the help and support of SJTU, we received a batch of surgical masks which we then distributed to our fellow exchange and visiting students currently residing in Singapore, at the same time checking in on them in these times of need. Receiving positive feedback and gratitude from them in turn meant a lot to us, and we hope that SJTU-APGI can continue to be a pillar of support for students in Singapore. It was also heartening to receive messages from a few of them who already had their own masks, and were willing to give up their share to others who needed it more.
Lastly, for this period, we would like to urge you to stay home as much as possible except for essential needs. It's a tough time we are in, so we all need to play our part by making sure we keep ourselves and our loved ones informed, keep a lookout for one another and help in ways we can. Stay safe, stay healthy and may we emerge from this crisis stronger.
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