Singapore’s Defence Minister, Ng Eng Hen said as the Singapore economy takes a hit from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government will help minimise any resulting retrenchments. “Even as we deal with the viral outbreak, we must ensure that our economy can function to keep jobs and livelihoods for Singapore,” he said. “The Government will work with companies and unions to ensure that retrenchments are kept to a minimum, if at all.” Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that his upcoming Budget statement on 18 February 18 will contain detailed measures for the hardest-hit sectors – tourism and transport.
Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong had said that the ongoing COVID-19 situation will have a significant impact on Singapore’s economy for the next couple of quarters, calling the outbreak “very intense”. He noted the economies of the region are much more interlinked now than when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) hit 17 years ago, noting the much bigger role played by China in the region now. He did not rule out the possibility of a recession in Singapore and called for greater regional cooperation to fight the COVID-19 situation.