SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) and Progress Singapore Party (PSP) - two opposition parties that had started to ramp up election activities - said on Thursday (March 26) that they will be temporarily suspending outreach to voters.
The WP said it will suspend all house-to-house visits in the light of the call for people to keep a safe distance from each other amid the spike in coronavirus infections.
In a statement on its website, the party said its MPs and town councillors from the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will continue to inspect the estates they oversee and attend to the needs of residents with the help of one or two of its volunteers, staff or non-constituency MPs.
"Our residents' welfare and safety are our utmost priority," said the statement.
The party had earlier suspended its weekly Sunday walkabouts, during which members sell the Hammer newsletter and greet residents in public areas such as hawker centres.
It is understood that the party will continue with some activities with small groups of members.
Meanwhile, PSP said: "Given the worsening Covid-19 situation and the restrictions announced by the Government, PSP will suspend all outreach activities for now. We will review the situation in due course and decide on when our activities can be resumed. Clear guidelines on how we should conduct our activities when we resume will be communicated to all our members."
The number of of people falling ill from Covid-19 has climbed sharply in Singapore in the past week, with a new high of 73 cases recorded on Thursday.
To curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Government has put in place the most stringent measures to date, shutting the doors on tourists and short-term visitors, as well as ordering the closure of all pubs and entertainment outlets, among other things.
In its statement, the WP urged people to take the measures seriously and to cooperate with the authorities, adding: "We will all get through this together."
Political parties had ramped up their activities following the release of the electoral boundaries report on March 13, even as they tried to follow the rules on social distancing.