SINGAPORE: The Government will provide updates on Singapore’s response to COVID-19 when Parliament sits on Wednesday (Mar 24). 

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong will be delivering ministerial statements on the issue. 

READ: Singapore contributes US$500,000 to support WHO efforts against COVID-19

READ: Singapore reports 2 deaths from COVID-19

Singapore on Monday reported 54 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase to date, taking the cumulative total to 509 cases. Of these, 152 patients have recovered and 355 remain in hospital. 

Singapore reported its first two deaths from the virus on Saturday. 

The coronavirus, which originated in China last year, has infected more than 370,000 people worldwide and killed more than 16,000. 

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will deliver a ministerial statement regarding the Government’s additional support measures for workers, businesses and households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heng said the “supplementary budget” will support Singaporeans amid the outbreak, which has “inevitably taken a big toll on our economy”.

Members of Parliament have also filed a few questions to be addressed in the House.

MP Saktiandi Supaat plans to ask how many factories run by local small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are currently based in China – specifically Hubei, Zhejiang, Henan and Guangdong. 

He will also ask if there is a need to relocate these factories for the businesses’ long-term survival and to address supply chain changes; and whether any assistance is available to SMEs that wish to move their operations. 

MP Lee Bee Wah will ask, in light of the plunge in crude oil rates, whether retail prices at petrol pumps reflect such a trend, and if not, whether any measures will be implemented to ensure petrol companies adjust prices accordingly. 

Also on Parliament’s agenda is the issue of caning sentences. 

MP Murali Pillai will ask how many people have escaped caning sentences upon being convicted for committing serious sexual offences like rape because they are above the age of 50. 

He also plans to ask if the Government has plans to remove the age requirement so that all convicted people – irrespective of their age – will be caned as long as they are assessed to be medically fit. 

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