Singapore reports 3 new COVID-19 cases, including 1 in the community and 1 imported

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore People wearing face masks cross a street amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore on Jun 1, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported three new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Saturday (Oct 17), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its preliminary update.

There is one new case in the community, one living in a dormitory and one imported infection. 

The imported case had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH, adding that more details will be released on Saturday night.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in Singapore to 57,904.

Like many countries, Singapore’s economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country entered a recession in the second quarter after non-essential businesses were shuttered as part of measures to contain infections during an almost two-month long “circuit breaker” period.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said given the scale of the COVID-19 crisis, the government may not be able to save every business and job.

READ: IN FOCUS: Graduating into a COVID-19 jobs market – short-term challenges and longer-term issues?

The government would however continue to support every worker, Mr Heng said, adding that both employers and job seekers have to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and adjust.

On Friday, the National Wages Council weighed in on the issue as well, saying companies that have already exhausted other cost-saving measures should consider implementing temporary wage cuts, but only to the extent needed to minimise retrenchments. 

The pay cuts should depend on the performance and outlook for the company as well as the industry it is in, with the burden of wage reductions not falling on any particular group, the council said.

With more layoffs expected, an advisory jointly published by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) has also been updated to provide more guidance for employers should retrench workers, it was announced on Saturday.

It includes calls for companies to retain Singaporean workers, guidelines on how employers can break the news to their workers more sensitively, as well as to make training programmes part of the post-retrenchment package.

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