Associate Professor Ong Biauw Chi, chairman of the medical board at Sengkang General Hospital, worked on the front lines at the height of the outbreak. PHOTO: HER WORLD/VERON TAY

Eight women who have played a significant role in Singapore's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic have been honoured with the Her World's Women Of The Year award.

This is the first time the magazine is recognising a collective group of women in its annual awards.

The winners, who have contributed to the fields of healthcare and medical research, were picked as they are exemplary figures of strength, leadership and inspiration, Her World said in a statement on Friday.

Associate Professor Ong Biauw Chi, for example, who is chairman of the medical board at Sengkang General Hospital, worked on the front lines at the height of the outbreak.

When medical teams from the hospital were deployed to nearby migrant worker dormitories, Prof Ong, 58, was seen attending to patients personally.

The other women at the top of their fields who have led the battle against the coronavirus include Professor Leo Yee Sin, 60, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Colonel Shalini Arulanandam, 41, chief medical officer of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), helps ensure the safety of medical personnel responding to Covid-19 cases.

Dr Sidney Yee, 53, chief executive of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Diagnostics Development Hub, led a team that helped to develop diagnostic tests used by healthcare professionals both locally and globally.

Dr Hoi Shu Yin, chief nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was part of a team that oversaw the conversion of two hospital floors into a dedicated area for Covid-19 patients. Dr Hoi, 41, also helped to equip more than 380 nurses with necessary skills to support operations at the neighbouring NCID facility.

Ms Katherine Leong, 49, assistant director of nursing at National University Hospital (NUH), led a team that helped set up the Tuas South community care facility for patients with mild or no symptoms.

Younger professionals also made valuable contributions.

Dr Sudesna Roy Chowdhury, 24, house officer at Changi General Hospital, developed, an English-Bengali translation website that helps migrant workers better communicate with healthcare staff.

Ms Shahidah Suhaimy, 30, who was doing marine conservation work in Thailand, returned to nursing in Singapore earlier this year to help in the front-line effort.

(Clockwise from top left) Professor Leo Yee Sin, Colonel Shalini Arulanandam, Dr Sidney Yee, Dr Hoi Shu Yin, Ms Katherine Leong, Dr Sudesna Roy Chowdhury and Ms Shahidah Suhaimy. PHOTOS: HER WORLD/VERON TAY

The eight women are featured in the 60th anniversary issue of the magazine, which was published on Friday. The awards were organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

Mr Eugene Wee, head of SPH Magazines, said: "As Singapore works her way out of the disquiet of the pandemic, we hope our special group of Women of the Year 2020 will continue to lead and influence countless others to carve their own unique paths towards contributing to society."