SINGAPORE - More people are reporting possible incidents of family violence as the Government ramps up efforts to raise awareness and detection of the issue, including training pharmacy staff to detect signs of abuse in customers.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development's Adult and Child Protective services saw a 25 per cent increase in the monthly average number of enquiries post-circuit breaker, in the months of June to September, compared to April and May.
Explaining the reason for the increase, Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development as well as Education, on Monday (Nov 23) said that the public is more vigilant.
But she noted that the number of incidents investigated remains at a monthly average of 118 from January to September this year.
Speaking at the National Family Violence Networking System Conference held online, Ms Sun also announced that MSF is partnering Unity pharmacies to detect signs and symptoms of family violence.
It will train 46 staff of the NTUC FairPrice-owned chain, which has more than 60 stores around Singapore.
On Tuesday, Unity pharmacists will be trained to better identify possible victims of family violence.
"This can help widen and strengthen our community detection efforts and provide additional touchpoints to direct potential victims to help channels," said Ms Sun, addressing about 500 experts and practitioners from various sectors who also discussed collaborative approaches to family protection at the conference.
Besides Unity, MSF has partnered religious organisations such as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and Presbyterian Church in Singapore to conduct training on family violence awareness.
Ms Sun said the ministry has also worked with businesses to conduct outreach on the topic.
During the extended circuit breaker, which started in April, the newly formed inter-agency Taskforce on Family Violence noted that individuals and families may have experienced more stress which could lead to violence.
"While there has been great emphasis on how Covid-19 has impacted our work, we must recognise that the issue of family violence goes beyond the Covid-19 pandemic," said Ms Sun.
The taskforce, which was formed in February, had its first virtual focus group discussion in August, where more than 40 community partners came together to discuss tackling family violence beyond Covid-19.
"Some of the facts and areas that have been discussed relate to the importance of looking at family structures, living environments, financial stressors and also the ability of individuals to manage conflict," said Ms Sun.
A second focus group discussion is being planned for the first quarter of 2021.
"We will be taking a deeper dive into some of these topics that have been raised. What's important is that we look at upstream factors, because we want to prevent violence before it occurs," she added.
Co-chairpersons of the focus group workstream - United Women Singapore president Georgette Tan, Singapore Council of Women's Organisations (SCWO) head of direct services Lorraine Lim and Casa Raudha Women Home manager Zaharah Ariff - also attended the conference on Monday.
They shared their organisations' initiatives to tackle family violence.
United Women Singapore has a GenSafe Workplace Programme, meant to support employees who may be victims of abuse.
E-Bridge Pre-schools is sending 700 of its employees to undergo a foundational programme by United Women Singapore this December.
Among other things, the programme aims to improve workplace responses to support employees impacted by domestic violence.
"In the coming year, we hope to reach out to another 100 businesses in Singapore, ranging from finance, pharmaceutical, technology and consumer industries," said Ms Tan.
SCWO will on Nov 30 launch one-stop help website ACT Against Violence to provide information for women of all ages coping with violence, while Casa Raudha is currently holding a week-long walkathon that began on Nov 21 to raise awareness on domestic violence.
SINGAPORE - Civil rights activist Jolovan Wham Kwok Han was charged in a district court on Monday (Nov 23) with two offences under the Public Order Act.
The 40-year-old Singaporean, who is the former executive director of migrant worker advocacy group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), had allegedly taken part in an assembly at the steps to the main entrance of the former State Courts building in Havelock Square at around 9am in Dec 13, 2018.
He is said to have demonstrated support for the action of the editor of sociopolitical website The Online Citizen (TOC) Xu Yuanchen, better known as Terry Xu, 38, and its contributor Daniel De Costa Augustin, 37, by holding up a piece of paper with the words - "Drop the charges against Terry Xu and Daniel De Costa".
According to court documents, Wham had a photograph taken of himself demonstrating at around the same time the pair were to be charged in court that day.
Xu and De Costa were both charged on Dec 13, 2018 with criminal defamation for allegedly defaming members of the Singapore Cabinet in a letter published on the TOC website. Their cases are still pending.
In the other charge, Wham is accused of taking part in a public assembly without a permit in the vicinity of Toa Payoh Central Community Club and Toa Payoh Neighbourhood Police Centre.
At around 1pm on March 28 this year, he is said to have held up a piece of cardboard with a smiley face drawn on it.
Court documents state it was to demonstrate his support for the action of one Nguyen Nhat Minh, who is said to have a similar snapshot captured at the same location on March 22.
In the photo, Minh allegedly held up a piece of cardboard with the words - "SG is better than oil@Fridays4futuresg".
There was no mention of Minh's case in court documents seen by reporters.
With the two cases, Wham is facing seven charges in all.
He was charged in 2017 with organising a public assembly without a permit on MRT trains along the North-South Line on June 3 that year.
He allegedly did so to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Operation Spectrum - an internal security operation that saw 22 activists arrested in 1987 in what the Government called a Marxist plot aimed at overthrowing it.
Wham is also said to have committed vandalism while riding on a train that day.
He allegedly pasted two sheets of A4-sized paper on a panel.
The papers are said to have had these messages written on them - "Marxist conspiracy? #notodetentionwithouttrial" and "Justice for Operation Spectrum survivors #notodetentionwithouttrial".
He was at the Police Cantonment Complex 16 days later where he allegedly refused to sign a statement that he had made.
Wham is also said to have organised another public assembly without a permit on July 13, 2017.
He allegedly did this at a bus stop outside Changi Prison Complex ahead of the judicial execution of drug offender Prabagaran Srivijayan, 29.
The Malaysian, earlier convicted of importing 22.24g of heroin into Singapore, was hanged the next day.
Wham's bail was set at $15,000 on Monday and his pre-trial conference will be held on Nov 27.
For taking part in a public assembly without a permit, an offender can be fined up to $5,000.
PARIS - The anti-viral drug remdesivir should not be used to treat Covid-19 patients no matter how severe their illness as it has "no important effect" on survival chances, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Friday (Nov 20).
Scratching one of the few treatments that had shown some initial promise in severe patients, a WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) of international experts said there was "no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes".
The United States, the European Union and other countries have granted temporary approval for the use of remdesivir after initial research showed it may shorten recovery time in some coronavirus patients.
President Donald Trump was treated with remdesivir among other medicines after he tested positive for Covid-19 in October.
Friday's WHO recommendation was based on four international randomised trials among more than 7,000 patients hospitalised with the virus.
Publishing updated treatment guidance in the BMJ medical journal, the panel acknowledged that their recommendation does not mean that remdesivir has no benefit for patients.
But based on the latest figures, costs and delivery methods, it advised "against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care for the treatment of patients hospitalised with Covid-19, regardless of disease severity".
Manufacturer Gilead said last month that the drug had boosted 2020 third quarter sales by almost US$900 million (S$1.21 billion).
Initially developed as a treatment for the Ebola virus, remdesivir was found in one study published in May to reduce the length of hospital stays for Covid-19 sufferers from 15 to 11 days on average.
A subsequent WHO pre-print however found the drug "appeared to have little or no effect" on mortality or length of hospitalisation among more than 11,000 hospitalised patients across 30 countries.
LOS ANGELES - California on Thursday (Nov 19) imposed a curfew across much of the state to stem the rapid rise of coronavirus cases.
Governor Gavin Newsom said the 10pm to 5am stay-at-home order will take effect Saturday evening and remain in force through Dec 21.
"The virus is spreading at a pace we haven't seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm," he said in a statement.
"It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalisations before the death count surges.
"We've done it before and we must do it again."
The order will be effective in counties in the state's most restrictive purple tier, which applies to 94 per cent of the state's population including in Los Angeles and San Diego.
San Francisco, which moved from the least-restrictive yellow to red tier this week, will not be affected by the curfew.
However the city, like much of the Bay Area, has been forced to shut down indoor dining and has restricted retailers and gyms amid a renewed coronavirus surge.
Authorities said Covid-19 cases have increased by approximately 50 per cent in California during the first week of November, sparking fears of hospitals in hot-spots being overwhelmed with new patients.
"Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system," said Dr Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.
"Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again," she added.
Mr Mark Ghaly, the state's health and human services secretary, warned that harsher restrictions could be imposed unless the number of cases goes down.
"We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly," he said. "Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns."
Mr Newsom's announcement on the curfew came as more and more US states rolled back on reopenings.
America has now registered over 251,000 fatalities and over 11.6 million reported cases, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University, by far the highest reported national death toll.
The surge in cases has alarmed authorities to the point that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel for next week's Thanksgiving holiday.
SINGAPORE - As Singapore resets its economy to navigate a post-pandemic world, it has decided to take a fresh approach to growth and initiated several projects that could hold the key to the future.
These range from the safe and gradual resumption of large-scale conferences to a trial of autonomous shuttles, revealed the Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST), six months after it started exploring new ideas to reignite the economy.
The EST is also adding a new area of focus, medical technology, which will look into developing diagnostics for diseases like Covid-19 and cancer. It is also looking at tie-ups with South-east Asian partners.
Giving an update on the work of the task force on Thursday(Nov 19), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that it has taken a new approach to collaboration under which industry-led groups dubbed Singapore Together Alliances for Action are given leeway - much like start-ups - to prototype new ideas.
"This is in keeping with the spirit of Singapore Together, where we work in partnership to achieve more than the sum of our parts," said Mr Heng, referring to the movement he and his fourth-generation colleagues started to give citizens more say in policymaking.
"This new approach to economic growth will propel our economy through Covid into a new normal post-pandemic," he added.
Members of the task force said at a press conference that this has allowed the private and public sectors to work alongside each other as partners - rather than as regulators and the regulated.
PSA International group chief executive officer Tan Chong Meng, an EST co-chair, described it as "crossing the stream while feeling the stones", rather than feeling all the stones and mapping out the way before crossing the stream.
This has borne fruit. A project by the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions alliance, to pilot rapid testing at mass events, saw all visitors to last month's Singapore International Energy Week tested on the spot before being allowed into the venue.
The alliance on robotics has initiated a project which will see early versions of autonomous vehicles deployed by the end of the year.
And the alliance on supply chains has brought together 50 organisations to create a set of data standards that will allow different segments of the supply chain ecosystem to work together.
The other four alliances are looking at sustainability, digitalising the built environment, smart commerce and education technology.
In all, the seven alliances have collectively engaged over 600 people and over 330 businesses, trade associations and chambers, and public agencies, among others.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, the other EST co-chair, said this agile approach to collaboration can be a competitive advantage for Singapore and may soon become the norm.
He added that it is key to be nimble as the task force has identified six shifts in the global economy from which opportunities will emerge: A changing global order; a rebalance between efficiency and resilience in supply chains and production; digital transformation and innovation; changes in consumer preferences; greater focus on sustainability; and accelerating industry consolidation and churn.
In navigating these shifts, the task force is guided by two themes, Mr Lee said, that must underpin the future economy: A Singapore that is connected to the world, and one that is sustainable for the environment and inclusive for its people.
He called on people to share their ideas through the EST's new website emergingstronger.sg, saying: "The EST needs both the support and the ideas and creativity of Singaporeans to build a Singapore that enables virtually unlimited possibilities."
SINGAPORE - Each Singapore resident will be able to collect a pair of reusable masks from Nov 30, in the third nationwide mask distribution by Temasek Foundation.
Some vending machines across the island have already begun restocking the mask kits, with collection to begin at 10am on Nov 30 and will end on Dec 13.
Temasek chief executive and executive director Ho Ching said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Nov 19) that the masks are "breathable antimicrobial 3D masks" from local company Proshield.
The 3D masks are shaped to fit the face, and are similar to the ones distributed in the National Day pack for every household, she noted.
Each kit will consist of two reusable masks along with three additional filters.
The mask has a pocket where the filters can be inserted should users wish for more protection in crowded places, she added.
They come in four sizes of small, medium, large, and extra large, with the small intended for children under eight years old only.
Ms Ho said people should check for a correct fit before collecting their masks, and those who fall in between sizes should opt for the next bigger size.
The water-repellent masks can also be washed and reused 30 times or more.
"With a proper fit, a 3D mask can sit nicely on the nose, and wraps under the chin, with enough room to breathe, and talk without the mask slipping down our nose," said Ms Ho.
According to Proshield's website, the masks are made of polyester for good breathability. In addition, they have a particle filtration efficiency (PFE) of 97 per cent, and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of 99.85 per cent for up to 25 washes.
These measures indicate how much of droplets and bacteria can be filtered.
The PFE test measures how well the mask can filter tiny respiratory droplets of 0.1 microns or one millionth of a metre.
The BFE test measures its ability to filter droplets containing bacteria at about three microns in size.
A good mask should have a BFE and PFE of more than 95 per cent.
The filter pads are also made out of a nanofibre to protect users from dust particles, water droplets and bacterial growth.
The DET masks distributed by Temasek in September had a BFE value of more than 80 per cent, but it did not have a PFE value.
Both types of masks have a breathability reading equivalent to less than 40 pascals per sq cm in a differential pressure test, indicating that the mask is comfortable to wear.
During Temasek's previous distribution exercise from September to October, around 7.6 million free reusable antimicrobial masks were collected. In its first exercise from June to July, 9.3 million masks were collected.
More details will be available online here.
SINGAPORE - Changi Airport will open up further to transit passengers, with Jetstar Asia on Friday (Nov 20) announcing that those on its flights from six South-east Asian cities will be able to transit via Singapore to other destinations from Dec 1.
It is the fourth airline allowed to operate such transit flights after the three airlines under Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group - SIA, Scoot and SilkAir - began doing so in August.
Such a move is expected to give traffic at Changi Airport a small boost, although aviation experts have said that demand for these flights will likely remain low, given continued restrictions on international travel and the lack of a meaningful travel bubble in South-east Asia.
The transit flights apply to Jetstar Asia passengers departing from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Phnom Penh.
Those transiting will have to wear a wristband throughout their journey so they can be identified by airport and airline staff.
Jetstar Asia said they will as far as possible be kept separate from other passengers by being seated together near the front of the aircraft.
They will disembark from the planes first and board last, and will be kept at a transit holding area or hotel during their time in Singapore, which must not exceed 48 hours.
However, those arriving from Vietnam will be exempted from these regulations as it is one of the countries Singapore has decided to unilaterally lift border restrictions to.
Singapore did so in October after assessing that visitors from Vietnam were unlikely to have the coronavirus due to the country's public health surveillance system and low infection rates.
Visitors from Vietnam are able to go about their activities in Singapore after a negative Covid-19 swab test upon arrival here and need not serve a stay-home notice.
The transit flights are a "positive step in the airline's recovery", said Jetstar Asia chief executive officer Bara Pasupathi.
The budget carrier had cut a quarter of its Singapore-based workforce, including 220 pilots, in July, and retired five of its aircraft.
It now has a total fleet of 13 aircraft that flies to nine cities.
At its peak, transfer and transit passengers accounted for about a third of Changi's passenger traffic.
Current transfer and transit levels remain far short of this peak.
SINGAPORE - More employers are being investigated for possible discriminatory hiring practices, said a report on employment practices released on Thursday (Nov 19).
The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep), the national watchdog on fair employment, investigated about 260 cases of such practices in the first half of this year, 60 per cent more than the 160 cases in the same period last year.
Some 90 employers eventually had their work pass privileges suspended due to discriminatory hiring practices as at August this year, up from 35 for the full year of 2019.
This means the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) barred them from hiring new foreigners or renewing the work passes of existing foreign staff for a period of time.
About 43 per cent of them were identified through data analytics as part of MOM's proactive investigation efforts. The remaining 57 per cent were identified based on complaints received by the ministry and Tafep, said an MOM spokesman in response to media queries.
Errant employers that breach the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices will be barred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing ones for 12 months to 24 months, under stiffer penalties for discriminatory hiring beginning this year.
The report by MOM, Tafep and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management said that perceptions of discrimination appear to have been going up, based on a ministry survey in 2018.
The percentage of those who felt there was discrimination during their job search process rose to 15 per cent in 2018, up from 10 per cent in 2014. Age-related discrimination remained the most commonly perceived form, while the biggest percentage point increase in perceived discrimination was based on personal characteristics of gender and number of children.
This is despite the same survey finding that seven in 10 private sector firms have structured human resources processes and objective criteria in their assessment of job applicants.
MOM also received about 580 complaints between May and August this year related to cost-saving measures taken by some 470 employers, said the report. The vast majority were able to resolve their disputes amicably after the ministry assessed the fairness of the measures.
Tafep separately engaged about 900 employers whose salary cuts affecting close to 52,000 employees appeared to be excessive, and close to 330 of them agreed to review their measures. The remainder were able to justify the necessity of the measures for business survival.
Since March, employers with 10 or more employees have had to notify MOM if they take cost-saving measures that affect employees' monthly salaries by more than 25 per cent.
As at the end of September, MOM received close to 7,300 notifications from about 5,000 employers, affecting about 250,000 employees.
Overall, one in five employers in cases where MOM intervened improved their practices and provided better support to their employees. To date, no employer has been found to wilfully refuse to channel government support to proper use, said the report.
SINGAPORE - The world will take several years to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and even then, some things will change in the new normal, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Nov 19).
"In the short term, I do not see us getting away from the precautions and the risks which are present right now, overnight. It is not possible."
Even if there is a vaccine by the beginning of next year, it will probably be 2022 by the time it gets rolled out to a significant proportion of the population and have an impact in slowing down the spread of the disease, he added during a session on the future of global growth at a virtual event associated with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) grouping.
PM Lee also does not foresee international travel returning to normal next year: "Maybe in two years' time, it would be possible to extend in a bigger way. But that is down the road."
He said there will be lasting impact even after Covid-19 is gone, as people would have become used to working remotely, doing business online and travelling less.
PM Lee gave this sobering picture at the Apec CEO Dialogues for political and business leaders in the Apec Business Advisory Council, which meets four times a year to advise Apec leaders on the priorities and concerns of companies in the region.
Other confirmed speakers at the annual event, which is organised by Malaysia this year and ends on Friday, include Chinese President Xi Jinping, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
PM Lee cautioned that while Singapore's Covid-19 numbers are very low, with almost no community transmission in the past few days, the battle is not over.
"All you need is one super spreader, and we will be chasing our tails again," he said.
"What we need to do is to keep up our precautions, build up what we are able to do in terms of testing, in terms of contact tracing, in terms of our systems to respond, in case the cases grow again, and then be able to open up cautiously with precautions."
About Asia being more conservative than the West in tackling Covid-19, he was quick to say that things can go wrong very quickly.
The attitude Singapore took is not to let the disease burn through the population, he said. "I would come down on the side of making sure that people are safe and healthy, and well-treated medically. Having secured that, I make sure that I look after my economy."
The Government is working very hard to prevent a second outbreak or even a second circuit breaker, which will have a big impact on the psychology of the population, he added.
"People will be discouraged, maybe demoralised, certainly will be angsty and fractious. It is not easy to maintain solidarity in the face of a threat, which keeps on being there, going away and coming back again, going away and coming back again.
"We are trying our best to avoid that roller coaster."
Support for jobs and businesses
The Prime Minister noted that the Government had stepped up in a major way to preserve jobs and make sure businesses survive as far as possible.
The Government has unleashed unprecedented fiscal firepower this year to the tune of around $100 billion in Covid-19 support measures, and is looking to draw up to $52 billion from past reserves.
Pointing to those hit hardest, he said many are self-employed, such as tour guides and freelance coaches.
"They all desperately needed help. The first thing to do was to keep body and soul together... I think it has prevented a lot of hardship and kept the economy at least nose above water, afloat."
But now that the situation is stabilising, "this large infusion of government resources cannot go on indefinitely, and we have to gradually tail this off and get things onto a sustainable footing", the PM said.
"We have to adapt ourselves for what is to come, rather than freeze a position which reflected what was pre-Covid-19. Otherwise, we will end up with zombie companies and an unproductive economy, and I think that will lead to more trouble for us later on."
Acknowledging that entertainment and tourism businesses are not out of the woods yet, unlike the manufacturing and technology sectors, which are doing well, he said the authorities are experimenting with how entertainment outlets can be opened up safely.
"But it is very challenging, because the whole point of entertainment is that you go to let your hair down, whereas here, we are trying to keep our guard up.
"Even if you have rules, when you want to relax and have a drink and then sing some song, or dance in an entertainment lounge, karaoke, it is a completely different mindset altogether."
Under a pilot programme, selected nightlife venues can reopen by next month or January under strict safe management measures, such as wearing masks on the dance floor and showing proof of negative Covid-19 tests before being allowed in.
When asked by moderator and Singapore Business Federation chief executive officer Ho Meng Kit what advice he has for business leaders who are facing an uncertain future, Mr Lee said: "I am not a businessman, I hesitate to preach, but in this situation, you have to look forward - not back to what (it) was... Make an objective assessment of what it means for your business and how you can best advance it."
He added that whether these businesses choose to pivot, transform, or right-size, it is important that they take good care of their workers, who are also stakeholders and an important resource.
"Look after them during this difficult period. Do not just make a short, quick decision - 'I am saving cost and I must drop so many headcounts' - but take care of them, retrain them if possible, redeploy them if possible, and they (will) repay that to you and to your company.
"In the process, we will strengthen our cohesion, and one day we will prosper again."
SINGAPORE - Eight travellers who arrived from South Korea and Thailand this month are being investigated for making false stay-home notice declarations.
Four of them are non-Singaporeans who, if found guilty, may face having their permanent resident status revoked or their re-entry permits and/or passes cancelled.
In a statement on Thursday (Nov 19), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the police said that four Singaporeans, two permanent residents and two long-term pass holders had made the false declarations to avoid serving their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities.
Prior to their arrival here between Nov 5 and Nov 12, the eight had applied to opt out of serving their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities, and to instead serve the notices at their place of residence.
In their applications, they had declared that they would be occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members with the same travel history and serving stay-home notices of the same duration.
However, between Nov 6 and 13, enforcement officers conducted checks at their declared place of residence and found them residing with household members who were not serving stay-home notices.
The eight travellers were then taken to dedicated stay-home notice facilities.
They are currently under investigation by the police, and may face prosecution.
If found guilty, the ICA and police said they will review the immigration status of the four non-Singaporeans.
The two PRs may have their statuses revoked or re-entry permits cancelled or shortened, while the two long-term pass holders may have their passes cancelled or shortened.
ICA and the police said that as a precautionary measure "to safeguard public health", household members who were with the eight, but were not on stay-home notices, have been issued the notices as well.
Currently, those arriving from Fiji, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey are allowed to opt out of serving their 14-day stay-home notices at dedicated facilities, and to instead serve it at a suitable place of residence if they fulfil two criteria.
First, they must not have travelled to any other country or region apart from the selected countries or regions in the last 14 days prior to entering Singapore.
Second, the traveller must occupy his or her place of residence alone, or only with household members who share the same travel history and are serving stay-home notices of the same duration.
Those arriving from Macau, Taiwan and Malaysia, excluding Sabah, are also allowed to serve seven day stay-home notices at their own accommodations instead of dedicated facilities.
The ICA has required all travellers serving stay-home notices outside of dedicated facilities to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout their notice period since Aug 11.
ICA and the police warned members of the public to take all health, travel and stay-home notice-related declarations seriously, and to submit truthful and accurate information.
"Firm enforcement action will be taken against those found to have made false declarations," they added.
Those who make false declarations in seeking to opt out of dedicated stay-home notice facilities are liable to be prosecuted for offences under the Penal Code, the Infectious Diseases Act, or both.
Their offences may carry jail terms, a fine, or both.
Those who fail to comply with stay-home notice requirements, including persons who tamper with and/or remove the electronic monitoring device during their notice period are liable to prosecution under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 - Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.
The penalty for such an offence is up to six months' jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
For foreigners, ICA or the Ministry of Manpower may take further administrative action, such as revoking or shortening the validity of their permits or passes to remain in or work in Singapore.
Members of the public can give information about anyone who fails to comply with stay-home notice requirements to ICA at the website or on 6812-5555.