Lending a Helping Hand at the Frontlines

24 Apr 20

(Caption of photo above) At the triage area, the team starts seeing patients at 8:30 in the morning. Our medics take the vitals of the patients before they are directed to see the doctor for consultation. The team then works closely with external hospital staff for the swabbing of identified patients.



"We are here to ensure that amidst this global pandemic, the people who contribute to building the nation are well taken care of." – ME4 Elton Goh

Since two weeks ago, personnel from our Navy Medical Service (NMS) have been deployed as part of the SAF medical team at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, the largest COVID-19 cluster to bring much needed frontline medical care to foreign workers in the fight against COVID-19. 

They form part of the national medical efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Many more medical personnel from Navy and across the SAF are also deployed in various isolation facilities and hospitals.

Thank you for your efforts. Stay strong and continue the fight!

As the Ground Commander for the SAF Medical team at S-11 Dormitory, ME4 Elton Goh (pictured left) manages the operations. He also works closely with other agencies to provide healthcare for all the foreign workers, and to ensure the safety of the healthcare staff, in the dormitory.

While this vastly differs from treating decompression sickness in his role as Head Hyperbaric Medicine Section in the Navy, ME4 Goh believes that the management skills he acquired from the Navy have helped him make critical decisions on the ground.

Everyday, the team prepares their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a clean zone away from the patients. And at the end of the day they perform a decontamination before entering the clean zone to remove all PPE and wash their hands.

As it is important to maintain infection control, any adjustment to the masks and PPE need to be minimized. During the hours of seeing the patients, the medical team are not allowed to eat or drink water.

Despite the challenges, the morale of the team remains high as they understand the purpose and that what they do contributes towards the fight against COVID-19.

For ME4 Goh, the fight at the frontlines is a family affair.

"My wife is also on the frontline as a nurse in a polyclinic, contributing to the national effort to combat COVID-19. I'm grateful that I have very supportive parents and in-laws that are readily available to look after my little ones."

"I would be lying if I said that I wasn't anxious. Managing a pandemic is not something that anyone wakes up ready to do. For all the healthcare staff at the frontline, there is a level of fear that is experienced, but what drives us to continue is an even greater level of purpose."