Evening Update: Today's headlines from The Straits Times on Feb 14

Good evening! Catch up on some of the main headlines on Friday, Feb 14.

Coronavirus: Impact on economy already exceeds Sars, recession possible, says PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visiting workers from baggage handling at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Feb 14, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


The impact, particularly over the next few quarters, will be significant as the country battles a "very intense outbreak", said PM Lee.


Coronavirus: 87 Singaporeans evacuated from Wuhan complete 14-day quarantine

92 Singaporeans were evacuated from Wuhan on a specially arranged Scoot flight on Jan 30, 2020. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Scoot said the crew who volunteered for the flight have also completed a 14-day leave of absence and have all returned to work on Friday.


No plans to close schools for now, says Education Minister Ong Ye Kung

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung washing hands together with Primary 3 pupils of First Toa Payoh Primary School after their meal on Feb 14, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Infections can happen even in homes, whereas schools have cleaning and disinfection routines to keep a school environment safe, he said. 


Coronavirus: Universities cancel in-class mid-term exams, shift to online learning

The Singapore Management University is cancelling all in-class graded assessments, including mid-term examinations slated to take place from this week. PHOTO: ST FILE

Infections can happen even in homes, whereas schools have cleaning and disinfection routines to keep a school environment safe, he said. 


askST: Can the flu vaccine protect me against the new coronavirus?​

According to the World Health Organisation, influenza viruses constantly evolve and the composition of vaccines is therefore changed every year. PHOTO: AFP

While it does not protect against the coronavirus, doctors say it is still advisable to get the vaccine given that influenza occurs all year round in Singapore.


Coronavirus response a high-wire act of diplomacy, politics for some countries

Medical workers inside an isolated section of a community health service centre in Wuhan, Hubei, on Feb 8, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

Some regional officials have agonised over the question of whether to restrict entry to travellers from China, says Indochina bureau chief Tan Hui Yee. 


Coronavirus: New initiative gives nurses priority queue for lunch

Until March 31, nurses will be entitled to free daily lunch sets sponsored by the Pek Kio Merchant's Association. PHOTO: AFP

Nurses in their uniform will enjoy priority queues at 33 participating stalls in Pek Kio Market and Food Centre.


Fair employers to get boost in government support during Budget 2020

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo speaking at an engagement session with Human Capital Partners and Tripartite Alliance Award winners at the Devan Nair Institute of Employment and Employability on Feb 14, 2020. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Besides hiring older workers, these employers also create workplaces that provide work-life harmony, such as flexible work arrangements.


CPF interest rates to remain unchanged for second quarter this year

CPF members will continue to earn interest rates of up to 3.5 per cent per year on their OA monies. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Ordinary Account interest rate will be maintained at 2.5 per cent per annum from April 1 to June 30.


SCDF fighting wood waste fire in Choa Chu Kang; 4-storey high flames cover football field-sized area

The blaze at 131 Lorong Semangka in Choa Chu Kang is believed to be caused by wood waste left in the area by a company. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE / FACEBOOK

The SCDF said dry vegetation and windy conditions in the area have complicated firefighting efforts.