SINGAPORE: Singapore reported three new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Saturday (Oct 17), with one in the community, one living in a dormitory and one imported infection.
The community case involves a 49-year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker whose case is unlinked, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
He is currently unemployed and his infection was detected through routine testing for special pass holders, said the ministry. His serological test was positive, which indicates a likely past infection.
The imported case, a 19-year-old Singaporean woman, had returned from Indonesia. She was asymptomatic and was tested while serving her stay-home notice, said MOH.
The remaining case was detected through the authorities’ bi-weekly rostered routine testing of workers living in dormitories.
Saturday’s case count brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in Singapore to 57,904.
Fourteen more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total recoveries to 57,798, said MOH.
Thirty-seven patients are still in hospital. Most are stable or improving, and no one is in the intensive care unit.
A total of 41 cases are being isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
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.