“I volunteered for deployment at the dorms, thinking that I would just be helping out at the registration area, so I was shocked when I was assigned such a big role,” says Daren Teo, who was in charge of the Command Centre at a Swab Isolation Facility (SIF) from 1 May till early June. She has since gone back to her regular duties as Senior Manager of Operations in SNEC.
In her SIF role, Daren coordinated with several agencies on their conveyancing plans, and translated those plans into something her team can act on. “My role was to engage the critical stakeholders — the medical, admin and facility’s security and maintenance teams to come up with the action plan for the day,” she explains.
Despite her operations experience at SNEC, Daren admits it was daunting initially to run such a large operation. “At the SIF, we received information at 8.30am, and had to come up with the action plan by 9am,” she reveals. “We had to plan for doctors to do medical rounds for the migrant workers who are residing at the SIF while awaiting their swab results, arrange the processes for registration, admission, and transfers to other community care facilities after medical review, as well as ambulance conveyance for those who require further assessment. The number of migrant workers we assisted varied every day. Everything was very fluid; anything could change because of the many variables,” she adds.
On average, Daren clocked 10–12 hours per day; she and her team were also the last to leave as they had to compile three reports daily, at different time intervals, for submission to the agencies. Despite not having a medical background, Daren felt the need to help the migrant workers who are affected by COVID-19. “I do what I can, in my own small way, to support Singapore in its fight against the pandemic,” she shares.
Daren’s family and friends were supportive of her work in SIF, and constantly kept her in their prayers. What also inspired her was the cooperation within and among the various teams from different SingHealth institutions— including playing roles beyond their job scope — to help the migrant workers. She is grateful for the experience. “It forced me to take a pause from my busy routine to ponder what is truly important in life.”
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