Coronavirus: Singapore Hosts First Large Conference As Restrictions Ease

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Coronavirus: Singapore Hosts First Large Conference As Restrictions Ease” – below is their description.

    As Singapore gets its Covid-19 situation under control, it will relax workplace measures to allow more people to return to offices and permit larger gatherings for various activities.

    At offices, the government’s stance will shift from working-from-home as a default to a more “flexible and hybrid way of working”, where up to 75% of staff can be at the workplace at any one time from April 5, up from the current 50%, the health ministry said in a statement. Meanwhile, the size limits for live performances, pilot conferences and sports events will be allowed to increase to up to 750 attendees from April 24, if they implement pre-event testing.

    Bloomberg’s Faris Mokhtar reports on Geo Connect Asia, the first-large scale hybrid trade conference in Singapore amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has battered the event’s exhibition and conference industry.

    The Asian investment conference had about a thousand people attending it physically, while another thousand joined it virtually. The conference stands out due to its raft of safety measures.

    • Covid-19 tests on site for speakers and staff

    • Antigen rapid tests for attendees

    • Zoning used to divide attendees

    • A mandatory dongle that alerts attendees should they breach social distancing.

    • Safe meeting pods accommodating a maximum of 4 people. Two people seated either side of a glass screen.

    The event could possibly be used as a template for future upcoming events held either in Singapore or other countries.

    The easing of the measures come as Singapore, with a population of about 5.7 million people, has seen zero new daily cases in either the local community, or migrant worker dormitories that were once a hot spot for infection, for almost two weeks. Officials have attributed the success to a series of stringent measures that includes mandatory mask wearing, strict border controls, social distancing and rigorous testing and treatment.

    As of March 23, around 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, according to the ministry, making Singapore one of the fastest countries for vaccinations per capita in the Asia-Pacific region to date, according to the Bloomberg global vaccine tracker. Singapore will now expand its inoculation program to younger age groups, after having initially focused on the elderly and essential workers. People from 45 to 59 years old can register their interest for vaccination immediately.

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