Singapore snippets

Major effort to determine extent of Covid-19 infection

Singapore has taken the fight against the coronavirus to the next level, with a major effort to determine the extent of Covid-19 infection among the population and where weak links exist.

A key focus is to find out how many have been infected but did not show any symptoms and were, therefore, not tested for the virus.

The National Centre for Infectious Diseases, which is spearheading the initiative, said this is being done with serology tests - where a person's antibodies will be analysed to determine whether he has been infected.

Care facilities' bed count to double

The bed capacity at care facilities outside hospitals will be doubled by June should there be an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Bed spaces at other facilities, such as community recovery facilities, will also be increased, along with manpower.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Tuesday that the authorities aim to double the 10,000 bed spaces at community care facilities to 20,000 by end-June.

Covid-19 will hit wages more than jobs

Wages are likely to be harder hit than employment amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said on Tuesday. Workers in the retail trade, food and beverage and recreation sectors are most vulnerable to layoffs.

Labour demand will decline significantly across most sectors of the economy as overall activity falls and employment will be most affected in industries that have been halted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, said the central bank in its latest macroeconomic review.

Most employees keen to continue working from home An ongoing survey - conducted by Engagerocket along with the Singapore HR Institute and the Institute for HR Professionals - has found that 90 per cent of employees wish to continue working from home in some capacity after the circuit breaker ends.

Out of about 2,700 respondents as of April 28, 12 per cent said they want to continue working from home all the time while 78 per cent preferred working from home for a quarter to three-quarters of their usual working time.

Visitor arrivals in March lowest since Sars

The number of visitors to Singapore plummeted to about 240,000 last month, the lowest since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak hit the Republic in 2003.

The number of arrivals last month represents an 85 per cent year-on-year drop, according to figures published by the Singapore Tourism Board on the Singapore Tourism Analytics Network website.

5G licences awarded to three local telcos

More than half of Singapore will have 5G mobile network coverage by end-2022, offering surfing speeds more than 20 times what the current 4G networks offer, with the need to upgrade digital infrastructure driven home by the present partial lockdown.

Singtel and a joint venture between StarHub and M1 won the rights to build the Republic's two nationwide networks on Wednesday and will have to scale up to provide nationwide coverage by 2025.

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