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Singapore Prepares To Reopen Factories As Coronavirus Restrictions Start To Ease

Sectors that conduct essential businesses like biopharmaceutical and petrochemicals intertwined with global supply chain will "reopen" in Singapore.


As of May 3, Singapore announced that it will “progressively ramp up” manufacturing activities to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, as the city looks ahead to reopening the economy over the weeks ahead, minister of trade and industry told the press conference.  

Sectors that conduct essential businesses such as biopharmaceutical and petrochemicals, as well as precision manufacturing which are intertwined with the global supply chain, will be on priority to “reopen”, Chan Chun Sing reportedly said. To accelerate the engine of global production and connectivity, at least 17 percent of Singapore's labour force has resumed operations on-site in the factories, as per the media reports. 

Chan reportedly said that several guidelines have been introduced to ensure the health safety of the workers so that they safely resume business. Besides, he added, those who are able to work from the confinements of their homes must continue to do so, according to reports. Further, he added that the city was no position to “reopen” entertainment and social outlets and some public premises, but would instead focus on manufacturing capacities and production to revive the economy in shackles.  

Earlier, Singapore extended the stay-home for the foreign workers, including Indians, in the construction sector by two weeks until May 18 as reports of outbreak emerged among the community. The overseas workers constitute the majority of the 932 new infections reported, as per media reports.  

Read: US: Most States Fall Short Of Coronavirus Testing Thresholds

Read: Singapore Reports 447 New Cases Of Coronavirus, Total Infections Reaches 17,548

Resumption of economy

The number of infections in migrant workers surged continuously, and the prevalence remained "noticeably higher" with respect to transmission. Therefore, the "transmission at construction worksites among such workers had occurred before the start of the stay-home notice period," the health ministry said. 

"The cases that are now being observed could have been incubated earlier or may have spread among the workers’ close contacts and house-mates," a media outlet reported citing the ministry. “An extension of the stay-home notice by 14 days to cover another incubation cycle will help to break the cycle of transmission, based on a public health assessment by the health ministry”, it added. 

As of May 3, Singapore accounted for 18,205 out of the total 3,497,006 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide. As many as 17 deaths have been reported so far. However, Singapore would allow some businesses to reopen from May 12 as part of a gradual resumption of economy, as per media reports.  

Read: UK Reports 621 More Coronavirus Deaths, Total Toll Surpasses 28,000

Read: COVID-19: Singapore Reports 932 New Cases, Mostly Foreign Workers; 1 Death

(Image Credit: AP)

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