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The Straits Times launches “In This Together”, an insider account of Singapore’s Covid-19 fight

Singapore, 20 January 2022 - The Straits Times has released a 352-page book on the eventful first two years of Singapore’s fight against Covid-19.

"In This Together: Singapore’s Covid-19 Story" is written by journalists who have been in the thick of covering the crisis, and edited by Executive Editor Sumiko Tan. It is published by Straits Times Press.

The book is for those seeking to understand how Singapore, an island city-state of five million people whose survival depends on the country being a global economic node, dealt with the virus that enveloped the world.

Fresh interviews with more than 300 people were conducted. They include the President of Singapore, the Prime Minister, ministers on the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, healthcare and other frontline workers, business owners, migrant workers, volunteers, survivors of the disease, and families of those who had died from the coronavirus.

The book is divided into 13 chapters which piece together the story of how Singapore battled to save lives as well as livelihoods. The narrative is illustrated with dramatic photographs and graphics, including two gatefolds.

"In This Together" chronicles how the country came together to fight, and live with the virus, even as everyone has had to stay resolutely apart while doing so - an image starkly captured on the book's cover. It is a story of suffering and resilience, of miscalculation and foresight, and of grumbling yet cooperation.

Among the stories are:

* Inside The War Room: A behind-the-scenes look at the Government’s crisis management.

* 24 People Saved Madam Tan’s Life: On how it took a village to save the life of one woman who caught Covid-19.

* Crash Landings And Other Lessons: On the frenetic early days at Singapore’s public hospitals when so little was known of the coronavirus.

* The Making Of 5 Budgets: The inside story of the unprecedented roll-out of financial aid in 2020.

* The Hunt For Masks: The drama behind Singapore’s race to acquire face masks in the early days of the pandemic.

Ms Sumiko Tan, who wrote the chapter Inside The War Room, said: “There are two reasons we wrote this book. The first is to pay tribute to the frontliners, including healthcare workers, public servants and those in essential services, people whose work we so often take for granted. The other reason is to chronicle for future generations what happened so this pivotal period in Singapore's history is not forgotten.”

News Editor Karamjit Kaur, who co-wrote a chapter on aviation, said: “The book showcases what The Straits Times newsroom can do when we come together. It was a tough project as we had to grapple with the evolving pandemic and Singapore's response along the way.”

Associate News Editor Chang Ai-Lien, who co-wrote a chapter on hospitals, said: "Work on the book shadowed the trajectory of the virus, with its numerous twists and turns. The story is far from over.”

Ms Kaur and Ms Chang helm The Straits Times' own task force on Covid-19 coverage.

Health Correspondent Timothy Goh, who wrote several segments including The Hunt For Masks, said: "In varying degrees, everyone had his or her life impacted in some way or other over the last two years. I also witnessed a very human and personal side to the officials we see in the media. Seeing the tiredness on their faces and hearing about the various doubts that were kept private till now reminded me that regardless of our station in life, for the past two years, we’ve also just been human beings trying to figure out a way to get through this, together.”

"In This Together: Singapore’s Covid-19 Story" retails for S$28 (with GST) at major bookstores from January 20, 2022. It is also available at stbooks.sg

If you require a review copy or any other information, or would like to interview the editor or writers involved in the book, please contact the following:

Ms Irene Lee, Sales Manager, Focus Publishing Ltd, irenelgs@sph.com.sg, +65 6319 8340

Ms Shahrena Hassan, Senior Manager, ST Events, shahrena@sph.com.sg, +65 9796 6115

Attached are photos of the book cover and photo captions for your use.  

Photo caption for "ITT Book Team seated" and "ITT Book Team standing"

The Straits Times book team represented by (from left, top to bottom) photojournalist Lim Yaohui; news editor Karamjit Kaur; publishing editor Lee Hui Chieh; executive editor Sumiko Tan; senior executive sub-editor Joanna Lim; photo editor Stephanie Yeow; senior executive designer Sally Lam; creative director Lock Hong Liang; art editor Lee Hup Kheng; associate news editor Chang Ai-Lien; and health correspondent Timothy Goh. Photo taken at Our Tampines Hub. ©The Straits Times

Photo caption for "ITT_Angled" and "ITT_Front"

"In This Together: Singapore's Covid-19 Story" by The Straits Times Covid-19 team, edited by Sumiko Tan. ©The Straits Times

Issued by SPH Media Trust (UEN: 202125108M)

 

For media queries, please contact:

Francis Mah
Assistant Vice-President
Corporate Communications & CSR
SPH Media Trust
DID: 6319 1028
Email: mahys@sph.com.sg

Shahrena Hassan
Senior Manager
ST Events, English, Malay, Tamil Media Group
SPH Media Trust
DID: 6319 5097
Mobile: 9796 6115
Email: shahrena@sph.com.sg


About SPH Media Trust

SPH Media Trust is incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee. The mission of SPH Media Trust is to be the trusted source of news on Singapore and Asia, to represent the communities that make up Singapore, and to connect them to the world. It has several business segments in the media industry, including the publishing of newspapers, magazines, and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns and operates other businesses including radio stations and outdoor media. For more information on SPH Media Trust, please visit www.sph.com.sg and our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


About The Straits Times 

The Straits Times, the English-language flagship daily of SPH Media Trust, is the most-read newspaper in Singapore and is followed widely in the region for its comprehensive multimedia coverage of local, regional and world news, provided by its correspondents in 12 bureaus in major cities worldwide.

Launched on July 15, 1845, The Straits Times has been moving with the times in its efforts to engage and grow its audience and exploring innovative ways of storytelling, as well as continuously refreshing its products to maintain quality and stay relevant to the changing needs of its readers. Its integrated newsroom operates round-the-clock, providing content as it happens on all platforms, from its website at www.straitstimes.com, Apple and Android apps to social media.

The Straits Times is a member of two media networks - the Asia News Network and the Impact Journalism Day alliance of newspapers - and it has won multiple international media awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa), Society of News Design and WAN-IFRA. Its multimedia newsroom and innovative projects were recognised at the Asian Digital Media Awards 2020 presented by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), when it clinched a Gold for Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services. The Straits Times also won the INMA Global Media Awards in 2020 for its campaign that tailored news on Covid-19 for students.