Residents queue to receive their second dose of AstraZeneca at a vaccination site inside a mall in Parañaque City. File photo was taken on June 6, 2021. (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer) MANILA, Philippines — The government has sufficient funds to ensure the COVID vaccination of the entire Filipino adult population and even teenagers, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Monday during the taped weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte. The government has about P85 billion to buy 140 million vaccine doses, which will cover 70 million adults, according to Dominguez. “If we have to vaccinate children, 12 to 15 years old, we estimate that will cost another P20 billion, but we have enough reserves to cover that amount of money so we have enough,” Dominguez said. The teenage population is around 15 million, according to him. “Our money is enough to buy vaccines. We don’t have to worry, the money is here,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino. ... » Learn More about Gov’t has enough funds for COVID-19 vaccination of even teenagers – Dominguez
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The writing's been on the wall for the past five years — the Singapore Sports Hub has definitely not been having an easy time. The ongoing pandemic continues to grind large group activities to a halt — this means no concerts, no football matches, no events that involve large crowds of people filling the high-tech aerated seats at the new Grand Old Dame. Sporting activities have resumed for some time now though, so people are slowly returning, but the glittering dome in Kallang remains largely a shadow of the hive of activity it used to be all year through in the years prior to 2020. All this, of course, throws up questions about the sustainability of the Sports Hub, as it navigates the tricky and thorny public-private partnership it as a private limited straddles between its financiers, the public and of course, its biggest customer, the Singapore government. In the middle of this complexity and tension stands Lionel Yeo, the man headhunted for the role of Sports Hub CEO ... » Learn More about Alignment vs approval: What Sports Hub CEO Lionel Yeo learned from the private sector after 22 years in govt
SINGAPORE: About 20 COVID-19 cases at Changi Airport were "quite congregated" around one zone - an area that receives travellers from higher-risk regions, including South Asia, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (May 14). Speaking at a multi-ministry task force press conference, Mr Ong said the airport has plotted the first 20-odd infections, and they were mostly from one zone. “This is the zone with a finger pier that receives higher-risk country arrivals, including (from) South Asia, and then the conveyor belt and immigration. So it’s that whole zone, and infections were all around that area,” said the minister. “That zone is our equivalent of Ward 9D, like Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). “And from that zone, workers go have their lunch, go have their meals at the Terminal 3 Basement 2 commercial areas and the food court, and we suspect from there, it transmitted to members of the public that visited the place.” Many of the COVID-19 cases in the TTSH cluster are ... » Learn More about First 20 Changi Airport COVID-19 cases from zone that receives arrivals from higher-risk countries: Ong Ye Kung
There are many names for what Singapore is going through at the moment. Circuit Breaker in all but name. Phase 2: The Empire Strikes Back. Déjà vu. A lockdown with Singaporean characteristics. Take your pick, but officially, it's known as Phase 2: Heightened Alert (P2HA), which resulted in at least one glorious meme, for those of us who spent endless hours playing "Command & Conquer: Red Alert" back in the day. Here's a handy comparison chart for what you can and cannot do during P2HA: Notice something? PH2A is much more "easy-going" as compared to the Circuit Breaker. Retail shops are open, you can buy 4D and Toto, and perhaps most important of all, bubble tea shops are open for takeaway orders (although some have closed ). Back on May 4, when now-Finance Minister and Covid-19 multi-ministry task force co-chair Lawrence Wong announced the latest measures, he said that the government is not ruling out the possibility of another Circuit Breaker. More ... » Learn More about Comment: Should S’pore do another Circuit Breaker? Maybe not.
SINGAPORE: It has been about eight months since Dr Wong Choo Wai ended his volunteer stint taking care of COVID-19 patients at Singapore Expo, but the 50-year-old sometimes wakes up in panic, thinking that he has overslept and is late for work. The senior family physician is still reeling from his experience of working almost 24/7 from April to September last year - pulling 12-hour volunteering shifts at the community care facility, while also still running his two clinics and seeing his regular patients. Getting only three hours of sleep each day, Dr Wong said that there were days where he almost dozed off at work due to the mental and physical exhaustion. He recalled one particular night in early May last year when he and other volunteers saw patients coming into the facility up until around 4am the next morning. Usually, new cases would stop coming in by midnight. “The next day, we were all so zonked out because each one of us saw at least a few hundred patients for that ... » Learn More about The Big Read: Frontline healthcare workers pushed to limits by non-stop, never-ending COVID-19 fight
SINGAPORE: It had been a tough year for Singapore. Then, as 2020 came to its close, it looked like the country could see a flicker of light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel with its transition on Dec 28 to Phase 3 of its reopening. And in the months that followed, the path to a post-pandemic normality looked to be fairly smooth, with community cases generally running to no more than a few a day. Plans for events which hadn't been possible for months started to gather pace. This was in spite of the pandemic continuing to rage worldwide, with a number of countries forced to introduce and then reintroduce measures to curb the spread of the raging virus. Singapore hadn't needed to. Then, very quickly, things changed. Clusters began to spring up, with one emerging at Tan Tock Seng Hospital - the first in a local hospital since the pandemic began. Community cases began to steadily increase. To tackle the spike, Singapore announced some tighter, targeted measures on May ... » Learn More about IN FOCUS: Tackling COVID-19 with targeted measures – the new normal for Singapore?
SINGAPORE: Twenty-one COVID-19 community cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Monday (May 17), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said. Ten cases were linked to previous infections, while 11 had no links to other cases. Six of the 21 cases had been placed on quarantine earlier, said the ministry. There were also seven imported cases, who had already been placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore. Including the imported cases, Singapore reported a total of 28 infections. No new infections were reported in foreign workers' dormitories. NEW CLUSTER LINKED TO MARINA BAY SANDS CASINO DEALER A new cluster linked to Case 63317, a 36-year-old male Malaysian man who works as a dealer at Marina Bay Sands Casino, has been identified. One of the new community cases, Case 63350, is a 34-year-old Malaysian who is currently unemployed and was detected through surveillance. He is a household contact of Case 63317. He developed a fever and a cough on May 12, and ... » Learn More about 21 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new cluster linked to Marina Bay Sands Casino dealer
SINGAPORE: Local authorities need to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Singapore further before deciding later if there is a need for a second "circuit breaker", said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (May 16). The minister was answering a question from CNA about how he would respond to calls for a return to a full circuit breaker amid an increase in community infections. Singapore on Sunday reported 38 new community cases , the highest daily number of infections reported since Apr 14 last year. Of these new cases, 17 are unlinked. READ: COVID-19: Primary, secondary schools and JCs to move to full home-based learning from May 19 Mr Ong said it was “a particularly difficult time” to answer the question as the trajectory of the recent spike in cases remains to be seen in the coming days. “You can see the cases rising and whether the trajectory goes exponentially up or flatten – which did happen (during) Chinese New Year this year, we saw cases going up and then it ... » Learn More about Further monitoring of COVID-19 situation needed before any decision on circuit breaker, says Ong Ye Kung
When Jackie Narkiewicz switched careers and became a librarian, she thought she’d spend her workdays “drinking hot beverages and discussing literature with people. “But during her 16 years as a librarian on New York’s Long Island. Narkiewicz has also faced a man threatening to kill her and a patron screaming while cutting her own hair in the bathroom. For her job, Narkiewicz has been trained in CPR and mental health crisis response and carries the opioid overdose antidote naloxone with her. As libraries nationwide contend with a surge in patrons seeking refuge in the stacks because of poverty, drug addiction or mental illness, a growing number of institutions have social workers on staff. Patrons enter Queens Central Library just as doors open to start the day, Monday, July 29, 2019, in Queens borough of New York. The library has a full-time social worker assisting patrons who take refuge during the day, who may need help with various crises including, homelessness, ... » Learn More about Libraries: Social Workers Training For Unexpected Events
SINGAPORE: Two more staff members of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and six patients who were in Ward 9D have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in this COVID-19 cluster to nine. They are linked to the nurse who was confirmed as a COVID-19 case on Wednesday. The two staff members who tested positive are a 30-year-old doctor and an 18-year-old healthcare assistant trainee. All the patients who tested positive are Singaporeans. Most of them are elderly, with the oldest being 94 years old. This is Singapore's first COVID-19 hospital cluster and the largest active cluster currently. In addition to Ward 9D, TTSH has now locked down Ward 7D as one of the COVID-19 cases had transferred from there. "All close contacts of the cases, including patients, visitors and staff who have been in the affected wards, will also be placed on quarantine," said the Ministry of Health (MOH). READ: Tan Tock Seng Hospital to redirect some A&E cases to ... » Learn More about Second ward in Tan Tock Seng Hospital locked down; 2 more staff members, 6 patients positive for COVID-19