Charity groups able to better help the needy in phase two
For weeks, a 70-year-old man lay on a urine-soaked bed alone at home, his windows smashed by children playing football in the neighbourhood.
He was unable to look after himself, as relatives who normally visited remained in Malaysia for work because of the border lockdown.
When he was visited by volunteers from Keeping Hope Alive (KHA), he told them: "I want to kill myself."
While charity work was limited during the circuit breaker and phase one, charities can now mobilise more volunteers to support beneficiaries as Singapore is in its phase two of its reopening.
KHA founder Fion Phua, 50, said more work can be done with up to five people in a home at once, providing nail cutting and urgent repairs, and helping with utility bills.
Ms Phua said many of the visits were a matter of saving lives, as many elderly residents living alone were incapable of helping themselves.
Some of them have no phones and are oblivious to the new Covid-19 developments.
Volunteers don full personal protective equipment during visits to keep the seniors safe, she said.
FOOD FROM THE HEART
Another group, Food from the Heart (FFTH) distributes food supplies to the needy.
Its chief executive Sim Bee Hia, 54, said around 36 of its food collection points, such as schools and community centres, were closed during the circuit breaker. Volunteers had to deliver supplies to the doors of 3,600 beneficiaries.
FFTH received help from courier service UParcel, which offered its delivery platform to coordinate deliveries.
As more collection centres reopened in phase two, Ms Sim said it has eased the pressure of making individual deliveries.
With fewer restrictions, Singapore Red Cross (SRC) said care package deliveries were more efficient with more hands on deck.
Home visits can also resume for high-risk cases, while previously, beneficiaries could be contacted only on the phone.
The SRC spokesman said: "While most beneficiaries were understanding, there were instances of seniors who would call to express their loneliness."
In migrant worker dormitories, support groups could also send help with fewer roadblocks in phase two.
Mr Zakir Hossain Khokan, 41, founder of One Bag, One Book, a migrant support group, said many of his contacts in dorms were unable to receive supplies because of confinement rules.
But as restrictions loosened, Mr Zakir said his team was able to meet with the migrant workers for supplies and mental health support.
He told TNP: "They were happy when they saw us. Some needed items, others needed company."