Many called the COVID-19 pandemic the defining health crisis of our time. Working tirelessly at the frontline, healthcare workers put up their best fight to protect everyone in Singapore. Four recent NUS graduates - Vincent Cai (Class of 2021), Joel Lim (Class of 2021), Sharlyn Ng (Class of 2021), and Wong Jun Ming (Class of 2020) - are undaunted about joining the healthcare sector during the pandemic. In fact, COVID-19 has only strengthened their resolve to join their seniors in safeguarding the well-being of our community.
Vincent is currently serving as a Public Health Officer in the Contact Tracing Task Group at the Ministry of Health (Credit: Vincent Cai)
Vincent Cai joined the Communicable Diseases Division at the Ministry of Health a month before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan. A natural extension from his past experience with surveillance and reporting of droplet-borne diseases during his postgraduate studies at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Vincent soon found himself in multiple roles related to Singapore’s contact tracing efforts.
Performing a delicate balancing act, he completed his practicum in school while juggling the demands of contact tracing work at the peak of Singapore's COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. He received his degree of Masters in Public Health (MPH) from NUS on 26 June 2021.
Recounting the challenging period at the height of the global pandemic, Vincent confessed that the journey was a tough one. In the initial weeks, little was known about the new virus. The science behind COVID-19 was constantly evolving, and the challenges that came with each case were also different. In an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, Vincent had to handle each case with tremendous empathy, building a rapport with the contacts and their families while reassuring them of what to expect in the days ahead.
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