TikTok users in Singapore may spot a familiar face on their For You Page today or in the coming days — Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung.
Ong created his TikTok account on Mar. 23 while having a home-cooked meal with Malaysian politician Syed Saddiq.
In his own TikTok video, Syed celebrated: "New achievement unlocked! Convinced the Minister of Health of Singapore to get on TikTok".
TikTok video about easing of safe management measures
On Tuesday (Mar. 29), Ong posted his first-ever video, focusing on the easing of Covid-19 safe management measures.
Ong opened his video with an introduction:
"Hi guys, this is Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Health, Singapore. I just started a TikTok account. Today is my first video. Today is also the first day Singapore is easing all our Safe Management Measures."
As Pharrell Williams' upbeat song "Just a Cloud Away" began playing in the background, Ong stated that he was in his office and thus had his mask on.
He then headed outdoors and took off his mask since masking while outdoors is now optional, and celebrated the fact that he could finally see his staffs' faces again:
After showing a few clips of people around Singapore adapting to the new measures, Ong then clarified that sheltered walkways are still considered outdoors.
Visiting Tiong Bahru Market
He then headed to Tiong Bahru Market, emphasising that because the hawker centres and markets are enclosed and don't have very good ventilation, masks are required.
Inside the market, Ong spoke to several patrons about the newly eased measures:
He also got himself a little snack:
Be careful to protect healthcare workers
Ong ended his video at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) speaking with a nurse named Jennifer Wong.
He reminded viewers to still continue staying safe amidst the eased restrictions:
"Our hospitals are still very busy. Our healthcare workers are really working very hard for the past two years.
So whatever it is — even masks off, social restrictions have been reduced — but still, please be careful. Especially, take care of those who are vulnerable such as the elderly, such as those who are not fully vaccinated, such as the young children.
Then, you can protect our healthcare workers so that they can continue to do a good job to keep Singapore safe."
Over 18,000 followers in several hours
Ong's TikTok account has already been verified by TikTok, as indicated by the blue check mark next to his username.
Within a few hours of his first TikTok video being published, Ong has garnered over 18k followers on the platform.
His video has been viewed more than 580k times and has received more than 40,000 likes.
You can watch his full video here:
@ongyekungToday is the first day of the easing of Safe Management Measures 1-5, and marks another big step towards living with COVID-19.Took a walk from my office to nearby Tiong Bahru to see how people are adapting to the changes. Even with the reduced social restrictions, do still remember to keep your guard up, and take care of the vulnerable among us.♬ original sound - Ye Kung Ong
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Top photos via TikTok/@ongyekung.