SINGAPORE: The presence of several listings on the online marketplace Carousell offering Covid-19 Resilience Medals for sale has prompted concerns at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), underscoring the necessity of treating these medals with utmost respect.
Upon checking Carousell, it shows that there were at least five listings of the Covid-19 Resilience Medals available as of 4 pm on Wednesday (13 Dec), with prices ranging from S$688 to an astounding S$1.5 million (approximately US$1.12 million).
One user, offering the medal at S$1,500, explained that it was exclusively awarded to healthcare workers for their significant contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing the medal as “special and exquisitely designed,” the seller noted that there is no specific recipient’s name indicated on the medal. Additionally, the listing expressed a preference for a meet-up and deal in Sengkang.
In August 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the COVID-19 Resilience Medal and the COVID-19 Resilience Certificate in his National Day Rally speech.
These honours were bestowed upon over 100,000 individuals and teams in 2023.
The medal recognized individual contributions to Singapore’s battle against the pandemic, whereas the certificate acknowledged the collective efforts of groups.
Healthcare workers condemn online sale of Covid-19 Resilience Medal
The Instagram account @thehonesthealthcareworker, run by a collective of healthcare professionals, expressed deep disappointment upon noticing the sale of Covid-19 Resilience Medals online.
In a Wednesday post, the group acknowledged that some individuals might be experiencing challenging times and could potentially require financial assistance.
However, they outlined compelling reasons aimed at persuading them to reconsider the sale of the medals.
the group emphasized, “National awards hold profound significance, symbolizing the collective effort and courage of healthcare workers during the critical days when COVID-19 posed a tangible threat.”
The account delved into the multitude of challenges confronted by healthcare workers (HCWs) during the pandemic.
These encompassed enduring prolonged hours donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), grappling with health issues resulting from continuous use of N95 masks, facing rejections for childcare, enduring prolonged separation from families, and undergoing frequent testing, among various other sacrifices.
“That award is a symbol of the collective will and sacrifice of those who put their country before their own comfort.”
“It was earned, not bought. To put (the medal) up for sale dishonours and diminishes the significance of all that they did. Some things are simply not and cannot be for sale.”
According to The Straits Times (ST), a PMO spokesperson stressed that the medals serve as national awards honouring the contributions of individuals and teams across various sectors—public, private, and people—who played pivotal roles in Singapore’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The medals should be handled with respect, in accordance with the spirit with which they were presented.”
Online comments advocate for enhanced support and conditions for healthcare workers
Regarding a comment on the “honesthealthworker” Instagram account, an individual highlighted a preference for redirecting the investment linked to these medals to ensure all healthcare sectors receive adequate manpower, financial support, improved equipment, and more.
Another comment highlighted the urgency of HCWs with increased pay and improved working conditions.
She shared that her clients working in healthcare have delayed payments, raising concerns about potential financial crises they might be facing.
“The medal is nothing in comparison to the amount of hard work they put in and the risk they expose themselves to, they deserve more than a medal.”
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