SINGAPORE - A government minister leading Singapore's coronavirus task force broke down in tears midway through a speech in Parliament on Wednesday (March 25) as he thanked healthcare workers and others for their efforts in tackling the pandemic.
"Words are not sufficient to express our appreciation," said Mr Lawrence Wong, his voice shaking before he abruptly stopped the speech to compose himself, asking his audience to "please give me a minute".
He continued tearfully about a minute later: "Words are not sufficient to express our appreciation for so many Singaporeans going all out to stop the virus. But I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who's doing their part."
His speech was met with applause.
Singapore, which has been battling a coronavirus outbreak for more than two months, has seen a sharp rise in mainly imported cases in recent days to a total of 558 infections and last Saturday recorded its first two deaths from the virus.
Mr Wong has warned that the outbreak could continue for many more months until at least the end of the year. The country on Tuesday announced its latest set of measures to increase social distancing as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in spite of earlier restrictions.
"We recognise the inconvenience and disruption that these measures will bring to people's lives, and to businesses, but we have no easy options," Mr Wong said.
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