Wuhan coronavirus, Singapore's emergency preparedness to be discussed in Parliament

Wuhan coronavirus, Singapore's emergency preparedness to be discussed in Parliament

Parliament House Singapore, top down view
Parliament House, Singapore. (Photo: Hani Amin)

SINGAPORE: The Wuhan coronavirus and Singapore's medical emergency preparedness are among the issues to be discussed when Parliament sits on Monday (Feb 3).

Two Bills will be introduced during the sitting for the first time, The Hindu Endowments (Amendment) Bill and the Economic Expansion Incentives (Relief from Income Tax) (Amendment) Bill.

Six will be tabled for a second reading, including the Singapore Convention on Mediation Bill and the Active Mobility (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to extend the e-scooter ban on footpaths to all motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs).

MPs have submitted more than 50 questions on a range of issues, with several MPs such as Desmond Choo, Rahayu Mahzam and Liang Eng Hwa asking about the Government’s measures to deal with the Wuhan coronavirus should the outbreak worsen in Singapore.

READ: Singapore has 'done well' in handling Wuhan coronavirus situation, but must remain vigilant: PM Lee

READ: Nearly 1,000 students, staff on leave of absence after returning from China, says MOE

The virus, which originated in China’s central Hubei province, has killed more than 200 people and infected nearly 10,000, mostly in China.

The Ministry of Health on Friday announced confirmed 16 cases in Singapore, including one Singaporean, as authorities widened travel restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

SINGAPORE'S EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Singapore’s medical preparedness is also in the spotlight after the Lucky Plaza car accident, where the victims were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital instead of the nearby Mount Elizabeth Hospital, which was not equipped to handle severe trauma patients.

READ: Driver in Lucky Plaza accident had licence immediately suspended, police reveal

READ: Lucky Plaza accident: CCTV footage emerges of moments before fatal crash

MP Joan Pereira is asking if the Government will consider requiring all private and public hospitals to be equipped and manned to handle severe and multiple trauma cases in their accident and emergency departments as part of Singapore’s emergency preparedness plan.

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Daniel Goh will ask whether the emergency departments of private hospitals should be upgraded for a tiered national accident and emergency system.

As Australia declares a state of emergency over the bushfires threatening large parts of the country, climate and other environmental issues are some of the issues that will be discussed.

MP Seah Kian Peng will ask if the Australian bushfires have threatened Singapore's environment and food security.

NCMP Dennis Tan will ask if the Government has any plans on reducing greenhouse emissions from Singapore's oil refining industry, while MP Louis Ng will ask if the Government could publish its collection of the 2019 carbon tax payments.

On other issues, NCMP Leon Perera will ask about the reasons for the discoloured tap water in the Basic Military Training Camp (BMTC) on Pulau Tekong last year and what measures are being taken to reduce the risk of such an incident in future.

He will also ask what the Government is doing to address attitudes of students and educators towards the sexual objectification and harassment of women, in light of concerns over voyeurism cases at institutes of higher learning.

READ: 'No free passes' for university students when it comes to sexual misconduct cases: Shanmugam

READ: Number of technology-facilitated sexual violence cases more than doubled in 3 years: AWARE

MP Cheng Li Hui will suggest that the Government conduct a review of the funeral industry in Singapore, after a mix-up resulted in the wrong body being cremated.

MP Christopher de Souza will also ask about the rise in piracy and robbery cases in the Singapore Strait and its surrounding waters.

Source: CNA/ec(hm)

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