This photo shows visitors waiting for a boat tour along the Singapore river in Singapore. Roslan Rahman/AFP
Singapore will progressively ramp up its manufacturing activities, its minister of trade and industry said on Sunday, with the city-state looking to restart its economy as coronavirus curbs start to ease over the next few weeks.
Sectors that are intertwined with the global supply chain such as biopharmaceutical and petrochemicals as well precision manufacturing will be among priority sectors, Chan Chun Sing told reporters.
Only about 17% of Singapore's labour force is currently working onsite to maintain essential services and support for global production chains and connectivity.
Chan said workplaces will have put in place prescribed measures to minimise the risk of infection before they can reopen. He added that those who are able to work from home will have to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
"So we will not be able to open some of the social entertainment outlets, but we will focus on our manufacturing capacities and production capabilities first," he said.
The city-state is facing the deepest recession in its 55-year history, compounded by so-called "circuit breaker" restrictions, which are aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus and are due to last until June 1.
Singapore will start allowing some businesses to reopen from May 12, authorities said on Saturday.
The Southeast Asian nation is among the world's most open economies and seen as a gauge of the health of the global trade. Last week, it posted a sharp decline in first quarter gross domestic product and slashed growth projections.
"We expect the first 10,000 doses to come on March 25, and 100,000 next month and 200,000 the month after," said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino's local partner, which will be importing the vaccine.
The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.
"It will be very premature and I think unrealistic to think that we're going to finish with this virus by the end of the year," Ryan told journalists. "But I think what we can finish with, if we're smart, is the hospitalisations, the deaths and the tragedy associated with this pandemic."
Heartrending scenes of a newborn plucked alive from the rubble and a broken father clutching his dead daughter's hand have laid bare the human cost of violent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey that by Wednesday had claimed 11,000 lives.
The Fire broke out over an area of about 100 square metres and was extinguished around an hour later, Interfax news agency reported, adding that the small refinery belonged to a company called Resource LLC.
Pope Francis offered his prayers for the thousands of victims of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey on Wednesday and called on the international community to continue to support rescue and recovery efforts.