Protect Our Senior Citizens Working At All MRT Stations During COVID-19

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With the number of unlinked COVID-19 cases on the rise, Singaporeans are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Over time, the government has implemented several safety measures to protect the well-being of people and help contain the virus within the country.

Most recently, a circuit breaker was implemented which will take place for about a month, whereby most workplace premises will close down and employers are tasked to work from home, as well as full home-based learning for schools. However, certain businesses and services that are essential for our daily needs are to remian open. This petition aims to highlight on this point in particular.

I want to call attention to a small target group that is part of an essential service that is tasked to continue operating, one of them being the service ambassadors that are employed and managed by Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) Corporation. Majority of the service ambassadors employed are known to be within the elderly age group. Despite the implementation of the circuit breaker, there have been no notices by which they should stop working and stay home.

Service ambassadors are mainly in charge of the control of crowd movement in train stations during peak hours. With an expected decrease in the number of crowds during peak hours over the next few weeks due to work-from-home measures implemeted for most employers around the country, there would be little need in having these service ambassadors to continue running their tasks of controlling crowd movement. Moreover, controlling crowd movement could be effective but unecessary, especially in times of COVID-19 in my opinion.

Going back to how most of the service ambassadors in our country are seniors, it is our duty as Singaporeans to protect one another. The elderly are known to be more vulnerable to the virus and hence should stay home and minimise leaving home as much as possible. Everyday, these senior service ambassadors are exposed to hundreds of people during 1 shift. This could increase their risk of falling ill or even the possibility of contracting the virus since human contact and safety distancing are not placed importance on, especially during peak hours.

As we can 'eliminate' more unecessary services and get more people stay home, it will definitely be effective in containing and preventing the spread of the virus within the country, slowly but surely. With this petition, I, along with other supporters, hope that SMRT will allow these service ambassadors to be given a leave of absence during the period whereby this circuit breaker takes place.