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  1. COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five persons allowed https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-phase-2-of-reopening-to-start-from-jun-19-social-12835758
  2. Msia 18th to 30th march -total ban on public movement and mass activities -all businesses and places of worship closed except for shops and supermarkets -total ban for all overseas travel -self quarantine 14 days for those returning to Malaysia -total ban of foreign visitors -closure of all kindergarten, schools, colleges -closure of all except essential services water, transport, oil & gas, electricity, health, emergency services
  3. How I cope with WFH (Working from home) So this is how I am coping with working from home. I am not the most diligent worker you have seen. But my motto is work smart don't work hard. So my job scope is smth like a dialysis machine. . . My boss will have something that needs to improve or need to work on, then I will be the one working on it, making sure that the end products are relatable to the dealers/consumers. And of cuz, MyCarForum is my baby. So everyone here always sees me commenting, laughing, goofing around here. So you can say I am a papa-san in MCF. @RadX & @BabyBlade is still the discipline master and mistress. So, in the morning I wake up in my usual timing, I will pack my bed, do some mediation and light exercise before I wash up myself. Once, I have wash-up, I make myself a cup of oat milk. And because now my office is just like 13 steps away, I just take a slowwww walk back to my "office". I usually start my day with MCF, checking all the past replies and try to find interesting news to share inside MCF. And once I have done it, I will check on my email. replying to all the necessary correspondent. I also try to make my room as bright as possible, so that I am in the zone of working. Usually, my room is like a bat cave. I do not take naps and after a few tasks and replying on MCF, time flies. And it is time for lunch! I took my bicycle and cycle to kopitiam and dabao-ed duck rice. And I will eat at my dining table instead of my room. Just to change the environment abit. While eating, I did watch a bit of the Porsche documentary that @Mockngbrd recommend. Quite a nice documentary. TBH. I haven't finished yet thou. Then after my lunch, I rest a bit, went down and walk my dog and bring her go pee pee. Then when I am back home, I went to shower to freshen myself. Once I am done with the shower, I am back to work! Same old, same old. making sure some of my tasks is done, talking to my colleagues in teams. And usually, during the afternoon my concentration wasn't at my prime. I will "wander" off to read on some other stuff. Mainly is tech/car. (checking how to mod my car or what new stuff xiaomi come out.) Walk to the kitchen and make myself a cup of green tea, and munched on some biscuit. Chatted with my HR abit, as she is making sure we are all working at home. Then go back to work. . . My co-worker have different live thou. 😕 She just NAPPPPPPPP alll the wayyyyy! What do I think of working from home? It is definitely a good initiative at this time, as you minimise on public transport and socializing. However, the person who is working from home, must have some vigilant/discipline, if not end of the day you will be simpson-ing all the way. Here's are some of the things that I find it helpful for myself when I am working from home. Have a designated work area. (Tell yourself, when you are there, you are working.) No working at your bed. I play music while I am working so depends on your style. Separate your dining away from your work area. On aircon/shower if needed. (I tried not to on aircon during the morning, but I BTH. Once I have showered, I on air-con and work) Have a very realistic to-do list (try to strike out as many as possible, can add more list along the way too) Walk around or make urself a coffee if you are not in the zone. (same when you are in the office) So here are some of my takes for working at home. I think is doable, but the end day is still the trust between you and your employer lah. They must trust you, and you must not abuse it also. 🙂 Okay! back to work!
  4. SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) will cut 96 per cent of its capacity that had been scheduled up to the end of April, said the airline on Monday (Mar 23). The decision was made after the further tightening of border controls around the world over the last week to stem the COVID-19 outbreak, SIA said in a news release. About 138 SIA and SilkAir planes, out of a total fleet of 147, will be grounded as a result. Scoot, the company's low-cost unit, will suspend "most of its network" and will ground all but two of its 49 planes. This comes amid the "greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence", the company said. "It is unclear when the SIA Group can begin to resume normal services, given the uncertainty as to when the stringent border controls will be lifted," it said. "The resultant collapse in the demand for air travel has led to a significant decline in SIA’s passenger revenues." https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/covid-19-singapore-airlines-suspend-flights-coronavirus-12566248?cid=FBcna bad year for aviation
  5. SPH Sees $83.7 Million Loss For 1st Time In 2020, Due To Covid-19 & Fall In Advertising source: https://mustsharenews.com/sph-loss-2020/ SPH Loses $83.7 Million In 2020 As Covid-19 & Advertising Impact Heavily Covid-19 has impacted on most industries, media being no exception. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is no exception, as they saw a net loss for the first time in their history in 2020, at $83.7 million. Just a year ago, they had a net profit of $213.2 million. They released their full-year financial report for 2020 today (13 Oct), which show losses in property valuation, advertising, and more. However, some properties also saw profits, while they remained profitable operationally. Read on to find out about the dollars and cents of SPH in 2020. Losses in investment values, advertising SPH’s various property investments saw losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many of them dealt with retail as well as student accommodation. This includes $196.5 million loss in value for its retail malls, and $31.9 million drop for student accommodation properties in the United Kingdom and Germany. Media also saw losses of $11.4 million before taxes. However, overall revenue saw a loss of 22.8% or $131.7 million. Newspaper advertising revenue continues to fall, this time by $99.1 million or 32.9% from 2019. Also, daily average newspaper digital sales are rising at 52.5%. Among the losses were retrenchment costs of $16.6 million, when 140 employees were let go in Aug. There was also a $122.5 million loss in advertising revenue. Operations see profit despite losses elsewhere Despite the losses elsewhere, operations saw a profit of $110.2 million. This is still a loss in profits from last year though. Also, overall property valuations may have gone down, but they still earned some profits. Profits rose to $327.2 million from acquiring Student Castle student accommodation in the United Kingdom, and Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in Australia. CEO cites advertising, Covid-19 losses SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung pointed to Covid-19 and the “collapse in advertising” as major reasons for the losses. He noted that SPH will keep taking a “prudent and disciplined approach” to liquidity and capital management, so as to survive the Covid-19 storm. That said, there was growth in circulation of 9.4% thanks to their News Tablet digital product, he said. Just 3,808 staff remain as of 31 Aug, compared to 4,085 in 2019. However, there was a mere 1.5% reduction in staff costs. Not an easy time for companies As companies continue to feel the effects of Covid-19, it may well be the time to adapt and find new ways to thrive. SPH has tried this with property, but it suffered heavy losses due to the climate. Media, which is also its primary arm, also had heavy losses, although readership is increasingly digitally. However, its legacy newspaper business will continue to see losses. Hopefully SPH weathers the storm and finds a way to make their losses back.
  6. As per topic title, how many of u are rescheduling or canceling holiday plans due to the virus or still proceeding? Just receive email from Scoot about rescheduling air tix. What are the airlines that are offering rebooking at no charges?
  7. Singapore restarting cruises: Boost for economy, but not plain sailing source: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/restarting-cruises-boost-for-economy-but-not-plain-sailing It may sound like a good way to help the economy, but it could easily be a disaster waiting to happen. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it will allow pilot "cruises to nowhere" from next month, with safety measures in place. This sounds fine, in theory. It's true that Singapore risks harming its economy if it does not return to some form of normalcy. But when it comes to cruises, the risks may outweigh potential rewards. Consider what cruises entail in the first place. Passengers eat, they take part in activities, and they generally relax outside of their cabins. Even accepting that each cruise ship carries only half the number of passengers it can normally accommodate, it would still host more than 1,000 people over a period of days. One of the participating ships in the pilot project has a normal capacity of more than 3,300 and the other has a maximum capacity of 4,900. And that is without counting the crew. Those on board are supposed to wear masks. But we know that while masks do reduce the transmission rate, they do not completely stop the coronavirus from spreading. And passengers will not be masked during meals. There is also the risk of transmitting the virus through common surfaces passengers touch while they help themselves to the food. And even if the food is served at the counter by crew, there are still many possible contact points. Do you stop passengers from touching walls and handrails when they go for a stroll on deck? Or from talking to one another when taking part in activities? There are just so many possibilities for Covid-19 transmission. One might argue that the same may be said of people in shopping malls or supermarkets. But they do not mingle for several days. Nor are they stuck together in an enclosed space, interacting through on-board activities. People excited or having a good time tend to talk louder, increasing the transmission risk. Expert opinion on the risks posed by such cruises is divided. Professor Dale Fisher, a senior infectious diseases consultant at National University Hospital, and Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School's emerging infectious diseases programme see the move as another step towards normalising life here. "It's not only about prioritising the safest activities; there is a balance with social and economic factors," said Prof Fisher. Prof Ooi agreed that it is important to balance the risks against the livelihoods of many, adding: "It would be the same as any staycation." Dr Asok Kurup, who chairs the Academy of Medicine's Chapter of Infectious Disease Physicians, is more concerned that cruises usually attract older people - who are more vulnerable to Covid-19. He said: "Socialising is another reason older folks go for cruises, (play) mahjong, et cetera. The skew towards more elderly passengers in such settings, in possibly confined environments, means the need to be super vigilant and have very thorough policing of measures." How is that going to happen? The STB said the ships must have "measures to discourage close contact and inter-mingling between groups". Discourage, not prohibit. People may intermingle, gather and chat. Even if rules are laid out, they may be breached. Even if the crew take action against paying passengers, the damage may have been done. The website of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States - the worst-hit country in the world - says: "Cruise ships pose a greater risk of Covid-19 transmission than other settings" as they "are typically more densely populated than cities or most other living situations". It advises Americans to defer cruise travel. Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, is also dead set against such cruises. He asked: "Are cruise ships the hill we want to die on?" He pointed out that there is no guarantee that all passengers are free from Covid-19. A passenger who gets infected the day before boarding "is almost certainly going to test negative on embarking", said Prof Cook. During incubation, the person would test negative - but could turn positive in a day or two, in other words, during the cruise. Should an outbreak result, he warned, "we'll need to be ready to handle the contact tracing and quarantining that would be necessary". The CDC said there is also risk in "crew living and working in close quarters in a partially enclosed environment where social distancing may prove challenging, even with a limited number of people on board". Should a crew member be infected but be asymptomatic, it could "keep the virus circulating from one voyage to the next". The STB says it is allowing such cruises "in line with the calibrated resumption of economic activities in Singapore". Yes, it is important to keep the economy going. And yes, many people here want to go on holiday again. But the risk appears too high. The outcome is uncertain - it could be beneficial or highly damaging. In the best-case scenario, no transmission occurs on board and everyone has a good time. But the worst that could happen - and there is no guarantee that it won't - is a major outbreak that, if spread to the community by asymptomatic carriers, could bring more economic activities to a halt. Surely there are better ways to kick-start the economy?
  8. So I just read these two articles consecutively. Very reassuring lol. One wrong move, and there goes the whole of China all over again. ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/despite-official-figures-wuhan-continues-to-find-new-asymptomatic-coronavirus-cases?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2zuDoEfkCBbQWkN5vNLkOy_G0SmzFAiEaWILxFA7G44OexYRFN2uE_a38#Echobox=1585025147 CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-coovid19-coronavirus-lift-travel-curbs-hubei-wuhan-12570658?cid=FBcna Here's the two articles: ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - Despite official figures reporting few to no new domestic Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland in recent days, authorities continue to detect more infections, with those in the city at the heart of the country's outbreak often amounting to more than a dozen a day, Caixin has learned. According to a member of the infectious disease prevention and control team in Wuhan, every day the city continues to record "several or more than a dozen asymptomatic infected individuals", which are people that have tested positive for Covid-19, but do not feel ill and are excluded from published numbers. As of Sunday (March 22), Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, had four consecutive days of zero new "confirmed cases." The person, who asked not to be named, said that these asymptomatic people are found by tracing the contacts of others who are infected and by screening quarantine workers who are at high risk of infection, as opposed to en masse testing. "It's not possible at the moment to tell if transmission has stopped," the person said. As reported new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 have dwindled, China has moved to send home the teams of medical personnel it brought in from across the country to assist hospital workers in Hubei. Between March 17 and 20, some 12,000 medical personnel departed the province. But the infectious disease prevention and control team has stayed behind, after Hubei's provincial Covid-19 task force on Friday ordered it to remain until central authorities say otherwise, Caixin has learned. According to a person at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, this team of specialists was kept in Hubei because the central government continues to feel unease about the situation in the area, in part because of the presence of asymptomatic individuals. Since February, the Covid-19 prevention and control policies issued by the National Health Commission (NHC) have stipulated that asymptomatic infected individuals are not considered "confirmed cases" and that their numbers should not be released. However, given numerous studies suggesting that this group is infectious, the NHC has required that, once detected, they be subject to a 14-day quarantine and lab testing, recategorising them as "confirmed" cases only in the event they develop symptoms. Caixin previously obtained data that showed Northeast China's Heilongjiang province had 480 "confirmed cases" on Feb 25, but had also discovered 104 asymptomatic infected individuals that it left off the public tally. A March 6 preprint - a study that has not yet been peer-reviewed - by Chinese and American researchers suggested that asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms could account for at least 59 per cent of Covid-19 infections, potentially undetected and fuelling its spread. Considering Wuhan is the epicentre of China's epidemic, "there's still a lot that needs to be investigated and traced", the infectious disease prevention and control team member said. CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan BEIJING: China's central Hubei province, where the deadly coronavirus first emerged late last year, is to lift travel curbs after two months under lockdown, local officials said on Tuesday (Mar 24). Healthy residents will be allowed to leave the province from midnight Tuesday. Travel restrictions for leaving Wuhan will be lifted on Apr 8, and people will be able to leave on the basis of using a health code The announcement as China reported 78 new cases of the deadly coronavirus on Tuesday, with the vast majority brought in from overseas as fears rise of a second wave of infections. The first new case in nearly a week was also reported in Wuhan - the epicentre where the virus emerged last year - along with three other local infections elsewhere in the country. Seven more people died, the National Health Commission said, all in Wuhan. There have now been more than 81,000 cases in China, and the death toll has reached 3,277. As the country tries to control imported cases, there are signs of normality beginning to return to Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. Travel and work restrictions in the province have been gradually eased and Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first visit to Wuhan earlier this month. Wuhan residents considered healthy can now move around the city and take public transport if they show identification, and they can also go back to work if they have a permit from their employer.
  9. Gold tops US$1,600 as virus fuels growth fears source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/gold-tops-us1600-as-virus-fuels-growth-fears [SINGAPORE] Gold traded near the highest level since 2013 on concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus and how it's impacting global growth. Palladium topped US$2,700 an ounce as it continued its record-breaking rally. Bullion steadied after surging 1.3 per cent Tuesday's as Apple Inc's warning that the virus and efforts to contain it would have its sales missing forecasts spurred a sell off in stocks. China's death toll from the disease topped 2,000, while the province at the centre of the outbreak reported fewer additional cases. The flight to safety has benefited haven assets, with the rally spilling over to the palladium market, where a multi-year deficit is expected to widen in 2020. Gold is up 5.6 per cent this year as investors assess the impact of the disease on economic growth and appetite for risk amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will feel increased pressure to reduce interest rates. The US central bank has said the effects of the virus have presented a "new risk" to the outlook and traders will study minutes from the Fed's latest meeting, due later on Wednesday, for any hint of a dovish tone. Spot gold was little changed at US$1,601.88 an ounce at 11.46am in Singapore. Prices had touched US$1,611.42 in early January, the highest since 2013, as geopolitical tensions flared. The unfolding health emergency has seen holdings in global exchange-traded funds backed by bullion expand to a record. Palladium climbed 3 per cent to US$2,709.10 an ounce, an all-time high. "A deficit equivalent to about 20 per cent of the palladium market is expected to be sustained this year, helping explain the surge in prices," said Vivek Dhar, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Demand is being driven by environmental regulations, particularly in China, which has increased palladium use in vehicles and should offset any recent weakness in car sales, he said.
  10. 'Is my anxiety normal?': How Covid-19 may affect mental health source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/is-my-anxiety-normal?utm_medium=social&utm_source=telegram&utm_campaign=sttg Friends call extroverted medical student Katelyn Joy Chiu, 22, a sunshine girl. Nothing rains on her parade. But she had "an overwhelming sense of uneasiness" when she started serving her 14-day stay-home notice on March 19, after curtailing a trip to London to visit her sister. She was disappointed about lost opportunities, too, for she had to forgo hard-won clinical attachments in a Tel Aviv hospital, a Papua New Guinea medical ship and also stints in Singapore from April to June. Anxiety heightened when more countries went into lockdown and infections grew exponentially, the bad news flooding her social media. "It became very scary. It felt like Covid-19 was in my bedroom," she recounts. "Covid-19 is a vicious annoyance that disregards everything." To turn things around, she made a to-do list from day one. She spent time doing videos of cover songs, creating an Instagram Live worship-and-sharing hour with a Christian friend that 400 people viewed, and working on her palliative care academic project at home. "I made my bed to kick-start my day, so there was no temptation to lounge in bed or take afternoon naps." Importantly, she accepted the situation and realised she was privileged. The minute her stifling confinement ended on April 2, Miss Chiu and her boyfriend took a midnight drive to West Coast Park and strolled, then drove to East Coast Park and walked again, savouring the fresh air. FEELING TEARY Like Ms Chiu, people with no underlying mental health issues may feel overwhelmed during the pandemic and wonder why they are teary or heavy-hearted. They are experiencing Covid-19 anxiety, a prolonged time of heightened anxiety and even loss, experts say. Ms Elysia Tan, senior counsellor at Touch Integrated Family Group, which serves families, children, youth and people who require mental health support, says: "In Singapore, which like the other major cities globally is highly efficient and enjoys much stability, people may find themselves out of their comfort zone." Also, people are social beings and may not be accustomed to social distancing from loved ones, friends and colleagues, she adds. TOTAL DISRUPTION So this is a vastly altered state of life that Singaporeans are trying to adapt to. "Covid-19 is a total disruption," says Ms Sarah Poh, mental health counsellor and founder of The Therapy Platform, a therapy booking platform. American grief expert David Kessler articulated the sadness now engulfing people worldwide: "The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection." In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, he said: "This is hitting us and we're grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air." Still, some grief or anxiety is normal and can even quicken a sense of purpose. "People who have been feeling teary or heavy-hearted sometimes could well be having a normal response to the pandemic,'' Dr Goh notes. Normal anxiety does not paralyse a person, experts say. But if the anxiety is recurrent, overwhelming, causes mood changes like irritability, and even triggers physical symptoms such as insomnia, indigestion and body aches, it may be time to seek professional attention, they counsel. FACING FAMILY 24/7 Meanwhile, mental healthcare professionals express concern about families under stress, including the functional households. Dr Goh says children are experiencing a lot of stress from the abrupt cessation of school and, for now, there are teething issues with home learning. "It is important to note that our anxiety can be 'contagious' for the little ones," he emphasises. Children do best when they have a good routine, and get to play, he adds. "You may wish to consider simulating the school routine of having recess and lunch time between home learning. Do remember to have some play time with your children. When was the last time you did that?" In compact Singapore homes, conflict over shared space can arise. Ms Poh of The Therapy Platform notes that in space-scarce Singapore, people face their families 24/7. This intensifies during the circuit breaker month. "The key here is to have respect and set boundaries over what is private space and what is communal space. Without good conversation around space use, tension can rise quickly within the family,'' she says. "Actually, the conversation will be more about person-to-person values, then about actual size of space. Instead of waiting for conflict to happen, have a planned conversation by the 'leaders', who are usually the parents." People of every temperament have to manage, including chirpy extroverts. Extroverts, who draw energy from social interaction, may have a hard time with diminished connection. "Instead of looking to the outside now, perhaps now is the golden opportunity for us to nurture our inner life. Having excess time being by ourselves, we have to learn to enjoy our own company,'' says Ms Poh. Other expert tips encompass being aware of the roots of your anxiety, living in the present and limiting the virtual life. Ms Christine Wong, a psycho-traumatology practitioner, mentions a client who had a never-experienced level of Covid-19 anxiety. "She said she was worried about employment, but her job was stable." After delving into the situation, the client, a professional in her 40s, understood that her anxiety stemmed from around the age of six when her father went bankrupt after his business failed. In the middle of the night, the family had to move. Her mother cried in front of the children. "If we understand what's happening, it gives us huge clarity,'' says Ms Wong. "It's half the battle won." Dr Adrian Wang, a psychiatrist and counsellor who practises at Gleneagles Medical Centre, placed the pandemic in perspective. "The virus is a finite thing,'' he said at a Web In Travel webinar last month on managing Covid-19 fear and anxiety. "Eventually this storm will pass. It's not a never-ending pattern of gloom and doom."
  11. Has anyone received Scoot notifications about Covid test requirements for flights to China? I received like 20 emails for various booking references which of course I did not made. Maybe their system hacked....
  12. SPH retrenching 140 employees due to Covid-19 source: https://mothership.sg/2020/08/sph-retrench-140-employees/ Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) held a restructuring exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 18, laying off 140 employees from the Media Solutions Division (MSD) and SPH Magazines. According to SPH, this accounts for about 5 per cent of the group's overall headcount, and will incur retrenchment costs of approximately S$8 million. Covid-19 has significantly impacted advertising revenue SPH's CEO Ng Yat Chung said that subscription and readership of SPH's news titles have "increased since the onset of Covid-19", but the Covid-19 pandemic has also significantly impacted their advertising revenue. "A more integrated approach of producing and selling our content across our various platforms will allow us to deal more efficiently and effectively with the new level of demand we are seeing from our advertisers and audience," said Ng. According to SPH's statement, the group has informed the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Creative Media and Publishing Union (CMPU) and National Trades Union Congress on this exercise. Affected staff will receive compensation on terms negotiated and agreed with the union. "CMPU and SPH management jointly reviewed the selection criteria to ensure that the Singaporean Core within the company is safeguarded as far as possible. The union also negotiated for a fair compensation package for affected employees", said CMPU in a media statement. SPH also said that it have been working closely with the union and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to ensure that affected staff will receive the help and support they require during this period. SPH's last retrenchment exercise was in October 2019 This is SPH's third round of retrenchment since 2017. In October 2019, SPH announced that it will retrench 5 per cent of its staff by the end of the year, despite earning a profit of S$213.2 million for the financial year which ended in Aug. 31, 2019. In October 2017, the media group cut 230 jobs, 130 of which were retrenchments. The remaining job reductions resulted from retirement, termination of contracts and roles that were eliminated due to restructuring of work processes. This resulted in a total of 15 per cent of the staff in newsrooms and sales operations being reduced. According to SPH, the company has reviewed its costs, cut back on discretionary spending, and instituted pay cuts for senior management since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. In March this year, SPH announced that its directors, which includes the CEO, and senior management would be taking voluntary pay cuts of 10 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
  13. While I really hesitate to start another thread on COVID-19, but these latest reports may have suggested something we don't know (yet). It might be worthwhile for the relevant authorities to take a closer look and come up with suitable measures to prevent potential outbreak, IF there are further evidences supporting the claim. China's Shenzhen says chicken imported from Brazil tests positive for coronavirus BEIJING: A sample of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen from Brazil has tested positive for coronavirus, the city government said on Thursday (Aug 13), raising fears that contaminated food shipments could cause new outbreaks. Local disease control centres tested a surface sample taken from the chicken wings as part of routine screenings carried out on meat and seafood imports since June, when a new outbreak in Beijing was linked to the city's Xinfadi wholesale food centre. The discovery came a day after traces of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were found on the packaging of frozen shrimp from Ecuador. China has been stepping up screenings at ports amid the concerns over food imports. The Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters said the public needed to take precautions to reduce infection risks from imported meat and seafood. Li Fengqin, who heads a microbiology lab at the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment told reporters in June the possibility of contaminated frozen food causing new infections could not be ruled out. Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, but scientists say there is no strong evidence so far the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can spread via frozen food. Coronavirus found on packaging of Ecuador shrimps in China: State media BEIJING: A city in China's eastern Anhui province found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of shrimps from Ecuador, state media reported on Wednesday (Aug 12), in the latest instance of the virus being detected on imported products. The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city when local authorities carried out a routine inspection, CCTV, China's state television, said. The news broke a day after a port city in eastern Shandong province said it found the virus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood, although it did not say where it originated. Since July, several other Chinese cities have also reported cases, including the port cities of Xiamen and Dalian, prompting China to suspend imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers. China embarked on intensive screening of meat and seafood containers at major ports after a fresh outbreak of the disease was linked to a wholesale food market in Beijing in June. New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new COVID-19 cluster WELLINGTON: New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country plunged back into lockdown on Wednesday (Aug 12). The source of the outbreak has baffled health officials, who said they were confident there was no local transmission of the virus in New Zealand for 102 days and that the family had not travelled overseas. Investigations were zeroing in on the potential the virus was imported by freight. Bloomfield said surface testing was under way in an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family worked. "We are very confident we didn't have any community transmission for a very long period," Bloomfield said during a televised media conference. "We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time."
  14. Hi all! I've been summoned by my boss to start a makan thread just for this special month (previous thread was too long). Continue your makan thread here. This will be a special thread dedicated for this unprecedented month. Show us your cooking skills and your anyhow cook anyhow eat spirit. Remember it's not about sticking to your routine and insisting on taking away at your favorite weekend eateries. It's about making small little personal sacrifices in this one month so that we can resume normalcy as much as possible next month. Break the chain of transmission now so we don't have to extend this. Please reduce the number of times you're heading out and opt to cook or order deliveries instead. Let's also be positive and keep eating. Hahaha. I'm going to start the ball rolling with what I've eaten for the past two days of WFH! Day 1 Day 2 Please wear a surgical mask if you're heading out even if it's for a short while!
  15. just received a renewal notice from ICA for my son's passport. question : is there any difference if i renew now (before expiry), or apply new when this pandemic is over ? i don't think we will be seeing the light at then end of the tunnel so soon also.
  16. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/covid-19-mc-donalds-to-temporarily-suspend-all-restaurant-operations-in-singapore-230224039.html Wa now enen drive through is closed. Looks like Mcdonald side is getting super serious.. Don't know is it because that there might have more new cases to be uncovered that is linked to McDonald's or because of management want to be on safer side of the option.
  17. StreetFight3r

    The new norm for Taxis?

    The new norm? https://mothership.sg/2020/05/comfortdelgro-taxis-plastic-shield-trial/?fbclid=IwAR1_HuT5NXU-Fdr1nRaK8bxQuKUAna9H2e_DSN8E3VOmFlkukdOxYQLoyGI 400 ComfortDelGro taxis to install locally manufactured plastic shields to minimise contact About 400 ComfortDelGro taxis will have a plastic shield installed to ensure social distancing between passengers and drivers as part of a trial. The trial will see the taxis fitted with a plastic cover called V-shield which aims to minimise contact between cabbies and their passengers. About 50 taxis will be installed every week from now, according to the news release. V-shields are locally-manufactured and trademarked by Moove Media, a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Corporation. Measuring 1m x 0.7m x 0.6m, the V-shield covers the driver’s cabin entirely and is made of "unbreakable" plastic material to protect the drivers from any violent physical harm, the news release added. It also comes with two openings to facilitate payments on board. The shield encases only the driver’s cabin area and does not obstruct airflow in the rest of the taxi. If the trial proves to be successful, more taxis will have V-shield installed. Previously A PHV driver did the same
  18. Just for discussion, based on my recent observations. Should masks be made mandatory as long as you step out of the house? Only those with valid medical reasons with a certificate from the doctors should be excused, but you will still be required to wear a face shield, and also required to provide the certificate if approached by social distancing ambassadors and relevant authorities. I am of the view that should one choose to exercise out in public, that is a personal choice, and your personal choice should not affect the health of the general public. And if exercising with a mask is too suffocating, then the choice is clear, stay home and do simple exercises so you don't have to put on a mask. Whenever I'm on the road at the traffic lights, I observe pedestrians waiting at the lights alongside joggers (panting) and I can only imagine the droplets being excreted out and the bystanders potentially breathing in these respiratory droplets. And then we have crowded beaches and parks where social distancing is not possible but most people do not put on masks anyway because it is not a requirement if you are "exercising". As a general rule of thumb, as long as you are out in public, you should put on a mask. Is there a need for exemption for this group of people? Pretty straightforward if you ask me. There is a pandemic going on which will not be going away anytime soon. We have to make lifestyle changes and not insist on our usual way of life. Also, your surgical mask or cloth mask should cover your nose and mouth, and not act as a chin guard. Those not covering either should be treated the same as you would as someone not wearing a mask since there is essentially no protection. https://www.todayonline.com/voices/tighten-rules-mask-wearing-those-not-doing-strenuous-exercise? Thoughts? Feel free to disagree with me.
  19. Singapore has started churning out ventilators to meet the global shortage as Covid-19 cases worldwide surged past the 13 million mark. Home-grown medical device company Advanced MedTech, which is wholly owned by Singapore's Temasek, has received emergency approval from the Health Sciences Authority for its Alpha ventilator. Even before emergency approval was received yesterday, it had already received inquiries and advance orders from countries like India and Indonesia. It expects to ramp up production to about 200 a month before the end of the year, and eventually to 1,000 a month if it also receives non-emergency approval, which will allow the device to be used outside of an emergency. Mr Abel Ang, the company's group chief executive, is confident the ventilator will meet international standards. The company has already filed for approval with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States. He said the Alpha ventilator is the world's first telehealth ventilator and ideally suited for treating patients with infectious diseases. Unlike conventional ventilators which have to be read and adjusted manually, it can be tweaked both manually as well as remotely with a computer. This reduces the need for healthcare workers to gear up with personal protection equipment to take readings or make any adjustments. This can be especially useful in large countries, as it enables an expert to manage several telehealth ventilators from a central location. Since the device is controlled over the Internet, distance is not a factor, said Mr Ang. He added that the use of a ventilator is complex, and not just a matter of fitting the patient onto the machine and switching it on. "Weaning the patient off a ventilator is equally important. If it is not done correctly, a patient may still die," he said. The machine, which weighs less than 4kg, is also portable, with a battery life of three hours. This way, if a patient is put on a ventilator in an ambulance, the same ventilator can go with the patient into the hospital - instead of having to take the patient off a portable ventilator and plugging him into one at the hospital, Mr Ang said. The company started looking at manufacturing ventilators following Temasek's "battle cry" to all its subsidiaries early in the year to take up arms against Covid-19. When Covid-19 exploded globally in February and March, countries were scrambling for ventilators since patients who are seriously ill usually need help with breathing for several days. Despite the soaring prices, there was a massive shortage globally, which has still not been resolved. Countries whose healthcare systems were overwhelmed had mortality rates of more than 10 per cent, while those that were able to cope well had rates of about 1 per cent. In March, Mr Ang contacted ABM Respiratory Care - a small medical device company with offices here, in India and the US - which has an FDA-approved respiratory device for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to help them cough out phlegm. He asked if the device could be converted into a ventilator as both types of equipment pump air into the lungs. Advanced MedTech invested US$10 million (S$14 million) to facilitate the research needed to convert it into a ventilator and for its manufacture. With local production of ventilators, Singapore hospitals are guaranteed a supply. But Mr Ang said he does not want something that is only for the current pandemic. He expects continued demand, given the Alpha ventilator's advantage in remote control. Several hospitals in India have rejected cheap, rapidly produced ventilators that work only if a tube is inserted into a patient's lung - claiming that such invasive treatment, if not required, could harm Covid-19 patients whose lungs are already affected by the disease. Mr Ang said the Alpha ventilator is able to provide both invasive and non-invasive oxygen: "We did not want to offer an overly simplified ventilator to the market." The firm plans to add another floor to its plant in Tuas, which was opened only two years ago, so production can be ramped up. Pricing will be competitive, he said. Hospital ventilators cost around US$25,000 each while travel ventilators used in ambulances sell for US$10,000 to US$15,000 each. The Alpha ventilator will retail for less than US$10,000, Mr Ang said.
  20. BBS wheels reportedly files for bankruptcy in Germany source: https://uk.motor1.com/news/434607/bbs-wheels-bankruptcy-germany/ The wheel manufacturer should stick to business-as-usual for now. 2020 has been a difficult year for most companies, and that’s putting it lightly. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, and the financial fallout from coronavirus will most definitely take some companies down for the count. In the automotive realm, one of these companies could be BBS, which is reportedly facing bankruptcy. This would be the third time the German-based custom wheel manufacturer has been in hock. In 2007 the company went through bankruptcy and was ultimately purchased by a Belgium company. Another bankruptcy occurred a few years later, and as of 2015, a South Korean company called Nice Corp was the majority stakeholder. Autoevolution reports the current financial crisis for BBS is the result of an “unexpected disappearance of promised payments,” according to a statement allegedly from BBS. Exactly what that means is unclear. A report from Motor Illustrated offers a bit more insight. The bankruptcy filing is apparently in Germany only, with diminished demand and halted production due to COVID-19 being the reasons. The move is similar to a Chapter 11 filing in the United States, which means BBS shouldn’t simply disappear. Rather, it’s a reorganizing that, in theory, will allow the company to continue operation. As such, the report says BBS will continue normal operations for now. How this will affect BBS in the US is unclear at this point. The manufacturer has a deal with NASCAR to supply single-lug wheels for the next-generation cars in the series. Yes, that means no more twenty-lug ballets with pit crew teams during four-tyre pit stops. It also means the days of black 15-inch steelies on the cars are over, as BBS offerings are said to be 18-inch aluminium wheels. It’s doubtful that deal alone will pull BBS out of the financial fire, but having a bit more publicity with America’s premier motorsport certainly shouldn’t hurt.
  21. SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - As the Covid-19 pandemic grips the world, claiming thousands of lives daily, some have decided to turn the crisis into a game. Illegal gambling websites are targeting punters in Singapore and other countries by offering the option of betting on the daily number of cases. The New Paper found at least five such sites, all of which have a similar betting interface. The sites encourage punters to place bets on the last digit of the number of daily new cases announced by Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Punters can also bet on whether the number is even or odd, and if the latest number in the respective countries is higher than the previous day's. ODDS AND RESULTS The daily odds and results are displayed with other sports betting options and appear to have taken on more prominence than football betting, the usual mainstay of such sites. Psychiatrists who spoke to The New Paper said that while they had not expected gamblers to bet on coronavirus cases, they were not surprised. Dr Adrian Wang, a psychiatrist and counsellor at Gleneagles Medical Centre, said problem gamblers would turn to any avenue, including illegal ones, to feed their addiction. "The act of gambling triggers pleasure centres in the brain, releasing neurochemicals that give them a sense of reward and satisfaction," he said. "They need this regular fix. Like an alcoholic who suddenly finds himself unable to afford whisky and has to settle for cheap rice wine, problem gamblers who can't bet in the casino or on suspended soccer games... will take what's available." The betting options on Covid-19 cases surfaced after the suspension of legal betting outlets in Singapore. The two casinos, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club have suspended operations since the circuit breaker period began on April 7. Measures to fight the pandemic, such as movement restrictions, have also made many punters turn to online gambling services. A recent study by analytics group AlphaBeta in Australia found that online gambling there has shot up by more than 65 per cent since last month. Similarly, website Global Poker noted a 43 per cent rise in the use of similar sites in the United States, with a 255 per cent increase in first-time users, gaming news site Inside Asian Gaming reported. As remote gambling is regulated in Singapore, a police spokesman told TNP that firm action will be taken against anyone found to be involved in illegal gambling. "The police are aware of betting activities relating to the number of daily Covid-19 cases and are looking into the matter," she added. Stressing that online betting contravenes the Remote Gambling Act, she said the police take a serious view of all forms of illegal remote gambling and will take tough enforcement action against offenders. Under the Act, those caught using an illegal remote gambling service can be fined up to $5,000, or jailed for up to six months, or both. Anyone who provides such an illegal service, whether from Singapore or overseas, can be fined up to $200,000, or jailed for up to five years, or both. Even with tough penalties and the dark reality of what they are betting on, problem gamblers are unlikely to be deterred, said Dr Munidasa Winslow, senior consultant psychiatrist at Promises Healthcare. Noting that such people will find a way to gamble in some form even when deprived of legal means, he said: "If they don't have Singapore Pools, they will turn to online bookies and anyone else who is willing to take a bet. "Betting on the number of daily Covid-19 cases is dark, but in the mind of a gambler, it's just another avenue for what they claim is a game of skill." He added that problem gamblers will delude themselves and may even be spurred on by betting on distasteful topics. Dr Winslow said some of them may see this as adding to the thrill, so they will "bet on deaths, or when a serial killer will be caught, a lot of strange things". "Even if they are gambling on people's lives, they will make that bet if someone is willing to accept it."
  22. SINGAPORE — Since mid-February 2020, engineering firm Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering has begun domestic production of medical-grade surgical masks and the masks are now being tried and fitted at Singapore's hospitals that are in the frontline fight against Covid-19. In an online interview with the media on Wednesday (May 6), Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that Singapore had to restart its domestic production capabilities when one of its foreign suppliers could not fulfil its contractual obligations recently to produce surgical masks. He did not specify the name of the foreign supplier. There used to be manufacturers here that produced surgical masks but that stopped more than 10 years ago. For now, ST Engineering’s production facility in Singapore will solely focus on supplying medical-grade surgical masks for the frontline healthcare workers at hospitals here tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been making N95 masks in Singapore since 2015. As for future plans, Mr Gareth Tang, senior vice-president of technology at ST Engineering Innosparks, said in the same online interview via Zoom video conferencing platform that the company may consider manufacturing surgical masks for commercial purposes after the pandemic is over. The general public’s need for masks will be met through the distribution of reusable masks or through the commercial market, where companies such as supermarkets and pharmacies may bring in their own supplies of masks and sell to residents here. Many companies here have also started setting up their own mask-making facilities to help in the nationwide fight against the coronavirus, Mr Chan said. One example is gaming company Razer, which has a fully automated manufacturing line that can produce up to five million face masks a month. The production of masks by other companies other than ST Engineering may not meet the medical-grade standards to be included in the national stockpile, and so could be used to sell in the market to the general public instead. When there was a worldwide shortage of surgical masks at the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, Mr Chan said that Singapore started making contingency plans such as switching to alternative sources of suppliers and restarting domestic production. However, even with production lines being set up here, he said that the common challenge is still the need to secure the raw materials. “It’s not just simply about having the machines to produce the masks and the manpower, but also to secure a sustainable supply of raw materials,” he said. For example, he explained that each of the three layers making up a surgical mask are made from raw materials that come from different supply chains and the authorities have to make sure that each one is sustainable. Mr Tang said that it was very challenging to set up ST Engineering’s production facility because they had to do it in “record time” from the beginning of the outbreak in Singapore from end-January to mid-February. Another challenge was due to the disruptions in supply chains across the world as countries go into lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. Mr Chan declined to reveal the production capacity of the facility or the volume of masks that Singapore requires to prevent any potential disruption to supplies. When asked about the time needed to produce enough masks to fully cater to the needs of healthcare workers, Mr Chan did not want to reveal that as well, except to say that the Government is “confident” in meeting their needs “for quite some time”. “We have arrived at a reasonable point where we are quite confident that we can take care of our medical workers in Singapore.” When TODAY asked about talk in the past few months that Taiwan’s export ban on masks affected Singapore’s supply, Mr Chan declined to comment. Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/made-in-Singapore-surgical-masks-given-frontline-healthcare-workers-covid-19-chan-chun-sing Watch before the mask comparison video by Straits Times and the national stockpile mask is the only one thta passed the absorbant test. That I think is also the mask Kee Qiu gave to us in Feb, the 4 masks? Brand is ASSURE. ASSURE is also manufactured in SG? Anyone know who is the manufacturer? https://www.yms.com.sg/brands/assure-disposable-face-mask-3ply/ Does it also mean Razer produced masks will not be going into the national stockpile since Kee qiu seem to suggest it does not fit the medical grade standard needed for healthcare workers. nyway well done sg.. Always better to be self sufficient and not be overly dependent on other countries. Late but better than never. Now the tricky part is the raw materials..
  23. SINGAPORE - Starting April 1 next week, all schools will conduct one day of home-based learning a week, in the light of the recent spike of Covid-19 cases in Singapore. Primary schools will do so on Wednesdays, secondary schools on Thursdays, and junior colleges/Centralised Institute on Fridays. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Friday (March 27) that this move will better prepare parents and students for more days of home-based learning if and when required. Schools will also stagger dismissal times to reduce the congestion when students take public transport or the school bus home. Singapore has ramped up measures over the past few weeks progessively to curb the spread of the virus, said Mr Ong. "So likewise, for schools, which are a major part of people's lives, we have also been stepping up (measures). So we will not want to do something dramatic, sudden, that will result in school closure," he said. "We still have options, we are not like many countries where they are forced into sudden school closures." When asked how long this home-based learning arrangement will last, Mr Ong said: "It depends how long the virus lasts, and how long we feel it will be around." From next Monday (March 30), schools will provide instructions to students and parents on accessing the home-based learning materials. Assistance will be given to students who do not have access to digital devices when their learning requires it. Students will have about four to five hours of learning on the day of home-based learning, of which two hours can be used to access digital devices. It can come in different forms, through e-lessons, or other references like worksheets and textbooks. Teachers could also conduct lessons via "live" videos. Schools will remain open for a small group of students whose parents are not able to make alternative childcare arrangements, and priority will be given to parents working in essential services such as healthcare or public transport. A small number of teachers in schools will supervise these students. Most teachers will stay at home on the day of home-based learning, while about 20 per cent of staff, including the principal, will remain in school. Co-curricular activities (CCAs) will remain suspended for the rest of Term 2, and so will other activities that involve mingling of students across schools like the National School Games. The Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation will be cancelled. On Sunday, Mr Ong had said that he received many questions from parents, with some asking why the March holidays were not extended, especially given the rising numbers of imported Covid-19 cases and impending border closures. He cited scientific evidence showing that young people are not spreaders of the virus, and said that closing schools would also disrupt the lives of many people, particularly parents who are both working, and who have limited childcare options. Various precautionary measures have already been put in place and hygiene protocols have been stepped up. Students now only spend their time with those in their classes, with CCAs and inter-school activities suspended. They sit apart in class and are reminded to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their faces. Communal activities such as mass assemblies and school camps have been suspended. Recess timings are staggered and temperature checks are conducted daily. Students who are not feeling well - be it with a cough, sore throat or a fever - will be placed in an isolation room in school or sent home. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/coronavirus-students-to-have-home-based-learning-once-a-week-from-april-as-schools-step-up
  24. StreetFight3r

    Expats feeling the heat in Sinkapore

    https://goodyfeed.com/expats-job-losses-pay-cuts/ Expats leaving Sinkapore due to redundacies Reminds me of the AMDK at Robertson Quay
  25. kobayashiGT

    GE2020: Singapore General Election - 10 July 2020

    GE2020: PM Lee calls for general election, says he decided to 'clear the decks', give new government fresh mandate source: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/ge2020-pm-lee-calls-general-election-says-he-decided-clear-decks-give-new-government SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (June 23) said he has decided to call the general election now, while the Covid-19 situation is relatively stable, to "clear the decks" and give the new government a fresh five-year mandate. In a televised address to the nation, Mr Lee set out why he has advised President Halimah Yacob to dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election. A Writ of Election, which specifies the date of the polls, is expected to be issued shortly. After the election, the new government can focus on the national agenda - which include handling the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and jobs - and the difficult decisions it will have to make and to carry, he said. The alternative is to wait out the pandemic, he said, noting however that there is no assurance that the outbreak will be over before the Government's term ends next April. Experts say a vaccine will not be available for at least a year. This general election will be like no other that Singapore has experienced, he said, not just because of the special arrangements to deal with Covid-19, but also the gravity of the situation and the issues at stake. "The government that you elect will have critical decisions to make," Mr Lee said. "These decisions will impact your lives and livelihoods, and shape Singapore for many years to come, far beyond the five-year term of the next government." The Prime Minister noted that under the Constitution, the term of the 13th Parliament must end by January next year, and the election held by next April at the latest. GE2020 will take place in phase two of Singapore's reopening after a two-month circuit breaker that was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Mr Lee said he had to be certain of two things before calling the election - that voters can vote safely, and political parties can campaign effectively. "After studying the issues, I am satisfied that both of these can be done," he added. Additional precautions will be in place on Polling Day, he noted, including more polling stations to reduce crowding, specific time slots for voting and safe distancing measures. Election candidates can still go on walkabouts, livestream e-rallies and get more opportunities to speak directly to the electorate on TV in lieu of physical election rallies. Mr Lee made the point that Singapore is not the first to hold an election during the Covid-19 pandemic - South Korea, Taiwan and several European countries have done so. "With our arrangements and precautions in place, I am confident we can hold a proper and safe election," he said. Addressing the Covid-19 pandemic during the speech, Mr Lee said the Government has been fully occupied with the Covid-19 outbreak since the beginning of the year. It quickly grew into a global crisis, killing nearly half a million people worldwide and disrupting the lives of countless more. Singapore imposed a two-month circuit breaker when the number of coronavirus cases here spiked, he said, and "made strenuous efforts to care" for migrant workers - who account for the vast majority of cases here. He added that steady progress has been made in the dormitories, though it will take a few more months to resolve the problem. New community cases have come down sharply as well, and, most importantly, the number of fatalities has been kept low. The pandemic has also caused a deep economic crisis, which Singapore has sought to mitigate through "massive fiscal action", he said, pointing to the how the House has passed four Budgets amounting to nearly $100 billion in support measures. These decisive emergency actions have kept retrenchments and company closures low, and helped Singaporeans take care of their families and see through the immediate crisis, he said. But while Singapore is now in a stable position after great effort, a long struggle lies ahead, he cautioned. Many other countries, including South Korea, China and Germany, have successfully brought their cases down, only to experience fresh outbreaks after opening up again, he added. And Singapore has not yet felt the full economic fallout from Covid-19, he said, warning of more business closures and retrenchments in the coming months. But the Government is determined to save as many jobs as it can, create new jobs and help businesses survive and restructure, Mr Lee said. Singapore faces external uncertainties as well, he noted, citing tensions between the United States and China, border clashes between China and India, as well as political developments in Southeast Asia. Diplomatic skills, and a deft touch, are needed for Singapore to navigating safely through these challenges and protect its national interests, he said. "To overcome these challenges, we must stand completely united as one people. Singaporeans and the Government must work closely together, with full trust and confidence in each other. "The Government must be able to respond promptly and decisively to the Covid-19 outbreak and the economic situation, and to external developments. "We need a capable Government, with the strong backing of the people, to do all that needs to be done on your behalf, and see us through the tumultuous times," he said. The prime minister noted that during the election period, the Government will continue to govern, and the ministerial task force will still lead Singapore's response to Covid-19, and essential work will go on throughout. "Soon, you will have the chance to decide whom to entrust with the responsibility of working with you to take our country forward," Mr Lee said. "I have every confidence that you will think carefully, and vote wisely, to secure our lives, our jobs, and our future."