Singapore closing workplaces, schools as coronavirus cases jump
UNTV News • April 3, 2020 • 1031
Singapore will close schools and most workplaces, except for essential services like supermarkets and banks, for a month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday (April 3), as part of stricter measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
While the city has won international praise for its efforts to stem the spread of the virus, its infections have been rising sharply in recent weeks, to 1,114 on Friday, and five people have died.
During a televised address, Lee urged everyone to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid socialising with others beyond their own household. He said the country had enough food supplies to last through this period and beyond.
The new measures will be in place from April 7 until May 4, while schools will move to full home-based learning from April 8. The measures could be extended beyond a month if the situation did not improve, authorities said.
The moves will help reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring, and it should also help to gradually bring numbers down, Lee said, which will then allow the authorities to relax some of the measures. Singapore has adopted some social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus, but had let schools, offices and restaurants remain open.
The city-state’s finance minister last month unveiled more than $30 billion in new measures to help businesses and households. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines — After facing the challenges brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the 107-year-old College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) announced that it will cease its operations in 2022.
In a letter, Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit said the school has faced challenges in increasing the number of enrollees in the past 10 years.
“We are now even more convinced that the Holy Spirit is speaking clearly to us through the signs of the times, compelling us to make this extremely difficult decision: to close CHSM at the end of academic year (AY) 2021-2022,” the letter reads.
Victoria said the significant increase in public school teachers’ salaries compared to their private school counterparts has also made it difficult for the school to cope.
“Private education has faced an increasingly challenging environment resulting from government policies on K-12; free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and college, and state-run technical and vocational institutions,” according to the letter.
She also said that the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the situation for the school.
“The reduction or loss in family income, mobility restrictions and social distancing requirements, and the new demands of distance learning have adversely affected enrollment, not only in CHSM, but in most private schools,” she added.
CSHM assured there will be a proper transition for the students currently enrolled. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — Mayor Abigail Binay has announced that residents of Makati City can now avail of polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for P2,950.
In My Makati Facebook post, Binay reported that the price of the RT-PCR test in the city is much lower than those offered in hospitals and private clinics around Metro Manila which usually costs around P4,500 to P8,000.
The city government made it more affordable, allowing asymptomatic individuals and those having no close contact with positive patients to be tested as well.
The said move is part of the city government’s mass testing efforts to break the chains of transmission while waiting for the vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). —MNP / Rhussel Egano
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