Singapore: More than 26,000 Home Team front-liners get Covid-19 vaccine jab; 12 new imported cases on Saturday (Feb 27)

An officer from the Singapore Police Force at the vaccination centre at the Home Team Academy. - All pictures via The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (The Straits Times/ANN): About 26,200 Home Team officers have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as at Friday evening (Feb 26).

Of these, 19,058 officers have received their second doses, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement on Saturday.

MHA's vaccination exercise started with 80 officers involved in front-line healthcare operations receiving vaccinations on Jan 11.

They were among about 1,050 to be vaccinated first, including Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) Emergency Medical Services officers, staff from the Home Team Medical Services Division, and other front-line officers.

They included staff from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and the Singapore Prison Service (SPS).

Subsequently, front-line officers performing enforcement and essential services duties were also vaccinated.

On Saturday, an MHA spokesman told The Straits Times that overall, 83 per cent of all medically eligible officers who work in frontline healthcare and enforcement, as well as essential services, have chosen to receive the vaccination.

Senior leaders from various services under MHA were also vaccinated, including the commissioners and heads of department of the SCDF, Singapore Police Force, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), SPS, Central Narcotics Bureau and HTX.

Among them was Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck, who received his second shot at the Home Team Academy on Feb 17.

He said: "Taking up the vaccine will not only protect ourselves, our loved ones and our colleagues from Covid-19, but also bolster our national efforts in battling the virus."

Referring to the high take up rate for vaccination among SCDF officers, Commissioner of SCDF Eric Yap added: "This is a clear statement of our resolve, commitment and determination to ensure that SCDF, together with other Home Team agencies, build a collective Home Team defence against Covid-19."

MHA permanent secretary Pang Kin Keong, who is also chairman of the Homefront Crisis Executive Group, said: "I am very glad that the large majority of our front-line Home Team officers have decided to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

"They perform roles critical for our country's safety and security, and together with colleagues from other ministries have been helping us to manage the pandemic, and getting vaccinated is therefore an important step."

Meanwhile, there were 12 new coronavirus cases confirmed as at Saturday noon (Feb 27), taking Singapore's total to 59,925.

All were imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

No new cases from the community or from within migrant workers' dormitories were reported.

With 18 cases discharged on Friday (Feb 26), 59,788 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 15 patients remained in hospital on Friday, including one in critical condition in the intensive care unit, while 66 were recuperating in community facilities. - The Straits Times/ANN

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