Thursday, 10 October 2019

Singapore overtakes US as world's most competitive economy: World Economic Forum

Singapore overtook the United States to become the world's most competitive economy in 2019, according to the World Economic's Forum (WEF) flagship Global Competitiveness Report released on Tuesday (Oct 8).

The annual ranking of 141 economies measures competitiveness on a scale of zero to 100 based on factors that include infrastructure, health, the labour market, the financial system, quality of public institutions and economic openness.

Singapore scored 84.8 out of 100. The US, which was last year’s most competitive economy, scored 83.7 to be ranked second.

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Forum: Ensure needy seniors know where to get social assistance

It is not uncommon to see a number of senior citizens serving in physically intensive jobs such as facility cleaners, dish cleaners or cardboard collectors.

Some of these seniors appear to be frail or not in good physical shape, and some are limp or severely hunched over.

This occurs despite the Government having various schemes that help low-income seniors, which are very beneficial.

A team of university researchers from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, published research in May that showed that the budget required to meet basic standards of living is about $1,379 a month for a single man or woman aged 65 and above (Study finds older singles need $1,379 per month, May 23).

ComCare provides long-term assistance of about $600 a month, for a single person.

For a senior on ComCare long-term assistance, there is also the Silver Support Scheme which provides a payout of $300 every quarter.

It may be possible that these seniors work because they wish to.

But there are those who work as cleaners despite physical challenges perhaps because they are not able to cope or they do not know how to apply for the available schemes.

Perhaps the authorities could research this matter more deeply. This is so that needy seniors in Singapore who are frail or in poor health may be adequately served by social assistance schemes.

Lam Yin Yin


A cure for hand, foot and mouth disease?

An anti-viral drug 'cured' three hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) sufferers in just three days, a case report has revealed.

Doctors from Florida State University College of Medicine treated two brothers, aged two and four, and their mother, 37, after they all developed the tell-tale rash.

The family were all given the anti-viral drug acyclovir within 24 hours of their lesions appearing. Acyclovir, branded as Zovirax, is approved for herpes infections - like cold sores, shingles and chickenpox - but experimental for HFMD.

Just a day later, their rashes started to clear, with them all experiencing 'complete resolution' within 72 hours.