PAP MPs to suspend house visits, limit in-person activities, in line with Covid-19 guidelines

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin (right) conducting house visits on Sept 6, 2021. The PAP on Sept 9 asked all its MPs to suspend house visits. PHOTO: TAN CHUAN-JIN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party has asked all its Members of Parliament to suspend house visits amid a surge in Covid-19 infections that has prompted an advisory for people to cut down on social activities.

The ruling party has also asked MPs to limit in-person activities, and several MPs have suspended physical meet-the-people sessions, asking residents to e-mail, call or video-call them instead.

It added: "Our MPs will also encourage residents to get in touch with them by phone or virtually as the primary mode to avoid congregation of people."

New infections in the community almost doubled to more than 1,200 cases last week, up from around 600 cases the week before. On Monday (Sept 6), the multi-ministry task force handling Covid-19 urged people to reduce non-essential social activities for the next two weeks to slow down the speed of transmission.

The Ministry of Health has also asked people to keep their social circles to a small group of regular contacts, and limit social gatherings to one a day.

A PAP spokesman said the advice for its MPs was in line with these new guidelines.

The Straits Times has contacted the Workers' Party on its plan for its meet-the-people sessions.

East Coast GRC MP Jessica Tan, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Christopher de Souza and Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor, who is Hong Kah North MP, were among those who shifted their meet-the-people sessions to a virtual format.

Mr de Souza said in a Facebook post: "The recent spike in unlinked cases is of concern to all of us."

Meanwhile, Ms Tan said: "With the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in the community, it is important that we stay vigilant so as to keep our community safe."

The PAP and WP had resumed physical meet-the-people sessions at the end of August, more than three months after Singapore moved into a period of heightened alert.

Both parties had advised its MPs to pause these sessions in May, in response to a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus infections as well as tightened measures then.

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