Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, shared his discussion on revival of economies with Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Finance Minister of Malaysia. The conversation between the ministers took place on Tuesday via video conference that was centered upon steering the economies of both the countries towards recovery.

Glad to catch up with Malaysian Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul Aziz yesterday on video conference. This is the second...

Posted by Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The ministers discussed exploring the areas to strengthen bilateral cooperation. They also spoke about measures that can be taken to support the companies and households, and contain the spread of the virus as the circuit breaker period is coming to an end in Singapore on June 1.

Meanwhile, under the conditional Movement Control Order (MCO), Malaysia has already allowed the majority of its economic sector to resume its operations on May 1. "It was a meaningful sharing session on facing the health and economic challenges during COVID-19 and how our nations can work together to overcome it," wrote Tengku Zafrul on his Facebook post.

Singapore Reopens its Borders Gradually

Singapore ranks fifth in global 'travel freedom' index
Representational Image

In order to conduct essential activities abroad and for foreigners to enter, Singapore has decided to gradually reopen its borders, Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Tuesday. "We will do so in a careful manner with the necessary precautions and safeguards," reads the statement.

Countries that are at an equivalent or lower risk of COVID-19 transmission are getting arranged with the possibility of piloting green lane by Singapore. This would allow essential travel in limited numbers with appropriate safeguards.

MOH appealed to businesses to minimize their travel during peak hours. As people are returning to work and school, more individuals will take public transport. Maintaining the physical distance between commuters will be difficult during peak hours. Cleaning of busses and trains with anti-microbial chemical coatings on exposed surfaces will be done by transport operators.

Testing Capacity

Singapore government has also been working on expanding its testing capacity to diagnose the confirmed cases early. This will speed up contact tracing and close contacts of an identified infected person can be isolated. The authorities have conducted a total of 290,000 tests out of which 29,364 has been tested positive of COVID-19 so far.