Singapore

Workers’ Party highlights ideas on tackling Covid-19

This article is more than 12 months old

Its policy proposals include forming independent medical advisory board and free vaccines

The Workers' Party yesterday acknowledged the Government's efforts in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic but said that as a responsible opposition party, it had put forward policy proposals on how Singapore can navigate a post-Covid-19 world.

Its comments in a Facebook post came in the wake of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks that opposition parties have shown no recognition that Singapore is facing "the crisis of a generation".

Referring to this, the WP said in its Facebook post that it had put forth policy proposals in its manifesto two Sundays ago, to address the crisis.

The first chapter in the 42-page document was devoted to "tackling Covid-19 and thriving in a post-Covid world".

The party made 16 proposals over eight pages in the chapter.

Its proposals on how to handle the crisis covered issues from expanding testing to plugging gaps in the support measures and reviewing public communications.

Yesterday, the WP reiterated some of them, including forming an independent medical advisory board to make recommendations to the Government's medical team. In its manifesto, the party had said this would pre-empt blind spots, pointing out that the Government's initial advice on the wearing of masks appears to have been driven more by concerns of a shortage of masks.

It also called for more widespread community testing and for the TraceTogether smartphone app to gather data only "absolutely necessary for contact tracing".

When vaccines become available, vaccinations should be required for residents of all ages and offered for free, so the population here can quickly develop herd immunity, said the WP.

On thriving in a post-Covid-19 world, it proposed policies to prepare Singapore for future pandemics and called for existing problems to be fixed.

INQUIRY

One of its suggestions was to convene an independent commission of inquiry after the crisis, to look at the lessons learnt and to institutionalise changes to the pandemic preparedness strategy, plan and protocol.

The party also called for a new, dedicated statutory board to proactively set and enforce standards for work and living conditions for all foreign workers on work permits.

GENERAL ELECTION 2020