Dr Kevin Meng Seng TAI

Medical Specialities: General Practice, specialising in Acupuncture
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Dr Kevin Meng Seng TAI

Dr Wu Lien-Teh is Kevin Tai's second great-uncle.


Dr Wu at a very young age travelled to UK to pursue a medical degree and in his early 30's was in charge of China's 1910-1911 plague epidemic.

He was also intelligent enough to use techniques like wearing masks realising that the causative pathogen was transmissible from humans to humans. This form of infection control is still essential today. Dr Wu also managed to convince authorities to shut down rail travel to prevent spread of the disease. Similarly, in today's pandemic, closing down air travel is paramount to prevent pandemic; this should have been done early on.

Given that there is currently no treatment or vaccine to fight against COVID-19, we require public health measures to control the disease, just like 100 years ago for the plague.

Currently, at my own frontline in Sydney, we use masks, wash hands regularly and hand-sanitise between patients and try to maintain distance between individuals as much as possible. We clean phones, keyboard & mouse, door handles, light switches at least twice daily. The government has agreed to cover the cost of telehealth (ie, telephone or video conferencing for patients to consult the doctor), hence reducing the risk of infection between healthcare workers and patients. Fewer patients are presenting in person for consultations. The authorities have instructed the population to keep 1.5 meters apart when out and about. The government has also advised against non essential travel or gatherings. Fines are imposed, amount varies between states in Australia. All states except NSW and Victoria have closed their borders and all incoming overseas travellers are quarantined in hotels for 14 days. COVID-19 test are available at multiple testing centres for anyone who have flu-like symptoms. Visits to age care homes are restricted to protect this vulnerable population. The Australian government has encouraged the use of phone app "COVID-SAFE" to assist with contact tracing. It appears that the number of infections are decreasing and the state governments will be gradually easing restrictions soon.

If I could change things in today's pandemic, I would institute consistency in regulations in various states in Australia and hope governments heed warnings very early on from W.H.O.


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