Singapore has faced many pandemics over the centuries, from plague, smallpox and cholera to influenza and novel coronaviruses. By examining how different governments responded, this book considers what we can learn from their experiences. Public health strategies in the city-state were often affected by issues of ethnicity and class, as well as failure to take heed of key learnings from previous outbreaks. Pandemics are a recurrent and normal feature of the human experience. Alongside medical innovation and evidence-based policymaking, the study of history is also crucial in preparing for future pandemics.

chapter |19 pages


chapter 1|29 pages

The Quarantine of the Trinity

chapter 2|20 pages


An Endemic Sinbad

chapter 3|25 pages


Racialising the Epidemic

chapter 4|21 pages

Cholera and Remaking the City

chapter 5|25 pages

The Infectious Diseases Hospital

Hanging Fire

chapter 6|13 pages

1890 Flu

Poison at the Wharves

chapter 7|27 pages

1918 Flu

Blind Spot in the Colonial System

chapter 8|27 pages

1957 Flu

The Limits of Decolonisation

chapter 9|17 pages

Swine Flu to Bird Flu

Epidemiology and Surveillance

chapter 10|18 pages

The SARS Effect

chapter 11|29 pages


A Culmination and a Departure of Sorts

chapter |13 pages


chapter |1 pages

The Authors