MPs ask about Omicron, Covid-19 vaccinations for children, VTLs and family violence

SINGAPORE – The public health strategy of the Republic against the Omicron variant and the deployment of Covid-19 vaccinations for children are among the key issues that will be discussed during the session of Parliament next Monday (January 10).

Eighteen questions were filed on these topics as Omicron cases increase here, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 local cases last week.

The multi-ministerial task force tasked with fighting the Covid-19 pandemic warned on Wednesday that Singapore could see a larger wave of Omicron cases in the coming weeks than with the Delta variant last year.

Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) requested an update on Singapore’s ability to cope with the growing number of infections at Omicron and details on imported cases by country of origin.

He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC) of the Workers’ Party asked if the government plans to apply differentiated vaccination measures to children aged 5-11 and 12-18. children between five and 11 years old.

Eight questions were also tabled on the topic of vaccinated traffic lanes (VTL) and border controls, as by Ms. Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC) on whether additional polymerase chain reaction tests will be needed. several days after arrival in Singapore for VTL travelers. , especially those in countries with a high number of Omicron cases.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told a press conference on Jan. 5 that the vast majority of the 2,252 Omicron cases recorded by Singapore to date are vaccinated travelers, although the variant is already in. community and can multiply rapidly.

Other issues raised by MEPs include support for those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and the attrition rate of healthcare workers here.

The House will also debate eight bills at its first meeting this year, including the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Bill and the Gambling Rights Bill.

The proposed amendments to the Women’s Charter could allow Singapore couples to divorce amicably without blaming one party and instead take joint responsibility for the breakdown of a marriage.

The Gambling Rights Bill aims to improve consistency in tax administration and enforcement of gambling-related taxes and to align penalties for similar offenses under other tax laws.

Next Monday’s session of Parliament will also hear a motion to adjourn by Non-Constituent MP Hazel Poa of the Progress Singapore Party on Safe Management Measures Differentiated by Vaccination (VDS).

Earlier this week, party colleague and NCMP colleague Leong Mun Wai said in a Facebook post that the party “is monitoring with concern the increasing intensity of VDS measures.”

One of the concerns is whether VDS measures will also be extended to children.

The health ministry said last month that it currently does not plan to implement VDS for children aged 12 and under.

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