The Big Story: Covid-19 Budget measures helped cushion recession's impact, save jobs, says MOF

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The eight Budgets rolled out between 2020 and last year to cushion the impact of Covid-19 have significantly boosted Singapore's growth and reduced resident unemployment over the past two years.

In a report published on Thursday (Feb 17), a day ahead of the Budget statement, the Finance Ministry (MOF) set out details of the effect that Singapore's fiscal measures and monetary policy have had on the country's gross domestic product, noting that the economy grew 7.6 per cent last year.

This would have been 6.8 per cent without support, it said.

Meanwhile, the report also outlined the Health Ministry's (MOH) findings that the nationwide vaccine roll-out prevented around 8,000 Covid-19 deaths during the peak of the Delta wave last year.

Vaccines also helped the country avoid 33,000 severe cases and 112,000 hospitalisations, according to a report on the impact of various measures in the past two Budgets, in 2020 and 2021, to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Separately, MOH confirmed 16,689 new local Covid-19 cases on Wednesday. Among these, 12,714 cases were detected through antigen rapid tests and another 3,975 were detected through polymerase chain reaction tests.

On Wednesday, the multi-ministry task force announced a slew of changes to Singapore's Covid-19 rules.

Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of NUS' Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, weighs in on these developments.

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