"The war against Covid is far from over," says St Luke's Hospital CEO Dr Tan Boon Yeow. But we can "polish our 'helmet and sword' and 'adjust our belt' (Ephesians 6:10-18) as we dress up towards Victory." Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

“Like Gideon’s 300, let’s continue to be vigilant, alert and courageous till we emerge victorious,” urges St Luke’s Hospital CEO in Singapore’s stepped-up battle against the coronavirus.

Salt&Light has reproduced Dr Tan Boon Yeow’s letter (below) to his staff to encourage all warriors involved in the worldwide battle war against Covid-19.

Dear St Lukeans,

The war against Covid-19 is far from over …

The enemy has become smarter and mutated into various strains, becoming more infectious and harder to detect. They recently breached the defences of TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital), sited just beside NCID (National Centre for Infectious Diseases) — one of Singapore’s epicentres in the coordination and management of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and Covid-19. We stand with TTSH as well as MOH (Ministry of Health) and other hospitals in our battle against Covid-19.

You may consider dedicating each swab to a special person that you are fighting the Covid-19 virus for!

Our success is temporal, and we cannot afford to be complacent. We are now modifying our strategy and carrying out pre-emptive strikes against the enemy by picking up infections that might be lurking around covertly, so as to swiftly contain and push forward with our mission with minimal casualty.

MOH has come up with a swift and decisive game plan beginning with Operation SWAB, which is critical in helping us stay one step ahead of the virus.

Our Infection Control Committee, operations team as well as clinical teams have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare us for this large-scale operation, which will take place over the next eight weeks.

Remember who you’re fighting for

Today, I would like all of us to start preparing mentally and emotionally for the battle ahead.

Gideon’s army of 300 men is one that I have always identified St Lukeans to be akin to.

In the book of Judges in the Bible, Gideon chose 300 out of 10,000 men under the guidance of God through a water test. The 300 were chosen for being vigilant and alert as they lapped water by cupping it with their hands and bringing to their mouths, as compared with the rest who knelt down and drank, which in that position could leave them vulnerable to attack. (Judges 7:4-8)

“Rest, exercise and recharge, while we polish our ‘helmet and sword’ and ‘adjust our belt’ (Ephesians 6:10-18).”

Like Gideon’s 300, we have been vigilant, alert and courageous since the start of this war.

Let us continue to do so with Operation SWAB and any others that follow till we emerge victorious!

The swab test may be a bit more uncomfortable than the vaccinations we have had. Thank you for doing this for God, our country, patients, fellow comrades and colleagues.

(You may consider dedicating each swab to a special person, through text or other means, that you are fighting the Covid-19 virus for!)

Finally, please remember to rest, exercise and recharge, while we polish our “helmet and sword” and “adjust our belt” (Ephesians 6:10-18) as we dress up towards Victory.

Stay safe, stay strong and stay well everyone!

This letter was written by A/Prof Tan Boon Yeow to the staff of St Luke’s Hospital, and is adapted with permission.


Home away from Home: Churches and charities express God’s love to stranded Malaysian workers

Novel coronavirus: Testing, testing

“Migrant workers are a part of our Singapore family”: HealthServe co-founder Tang Shin Yong

About the author

A/Prof Tan Boon Yeow

A/Prof Tan Boon Yeow has been working at St Luke’s Hospital as a doctor since 1999, and is currently its CEO. He is also involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. His wife and helpmate, Low Yee, and their twin daughters, Grace and Gayle, keep him grounded.