COVID-19 and Singapore’s Film and TV Industry: News Roundup for Week of 24 February 2020
True to Sinema’s core goal of supporting the local film and TV industry by being a resource hub, we will be cutting through the deluge of news relating to the Coronavirus flooding Facebook feeds and WhatsApp groups to deliver the daily news most relevant to the industry.
COVID-19: Singapore Freelancers in Some Sectors Hit Hard, but Others Such as Nurses See More Demand
Freelance lighting technician Kegan Vennard, 31, has been home without work for the last three weeks.
He is among many gig-economy workers who have taken a large financial hit from the COVID-19 outbreak that has dimmed the lights on shows and large events islandwide.
Demand used to be so steady that Mr Vennard could plug away for several weeks without a day off.
Explainer: Can COVID-19 Patients Get Reinfected and Do They Develop Immunity Against the Virus?
Some health experts are saying that patients cured of the COVID-19 disease are unlikely to get reinfected, although they cannot say for sure exactly what is causing some discharged patients in the Chinese city of Wuhan to test positive again for the coronavirus.
Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist from the Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, offered a theory: Wuhan patients who have been discharged are likely those who have recovered from their illness but were not tested negative for the virus.
Over the weekend, reports have emerged that some discharged patients in Wuhan have tested positive again, prompting the authorities there to introduce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for COVID-19 patients who have recovered.
Budget 2020 Debate: Denise Phua on Steering Singapore Through Rough Times
MP Denise Phua said Budget 2020 is commendable for its agility and speed in helping sectors hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, empathy in delaying the GST increase and focus on the concerns of Singaporeans and businesses. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday (26 February) during the debate on Budget 2020, she also raised several concerns. These include support for a possible prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, strengthening SMEs and uplifting the vulnerable in society.
Budget 2020: Jobs, Measures to Cope With COVID-19 Impact Dominate Day 1 of Debate
This year’s Budget will help mitigate COVID-19’s economic impact on businesses and their workers, but more could be done, said Members of Parliament (MPs) on day one of the Budget debate.
Many MPs started off by lauding some of the Budget measures announced last week, including the Jobs Support Scheme that provides an 8 per cent wage subsidy for local workers, and the Skillsfuture credit top-ups of up to S$1,000.
“Manpower costs are also a significant expenditure for companies and the wage support measures that are announced during this period will help companies to ‘cut costs to save jobs’ instead of ‘cutting jobs to save costs’,” said Senior Minister of State for Trade Koh Poh Koon of the S$4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package that the Jobs Support Scheme is part of.
Budget 2020 Debate: Terence Ho on the Arts and Social Cohesion
NMP Terence Ho spoke on the importance of the arts to Singapore’s cultural identity and social resilience. He thanked the Government for its continued support for the arts in Budget 2020. He also urged the Government to review its Culture Matching Fund policy so that smaller arts groups can tap on the funds.
(Banner Photo Credit: 123RF)