Thursday, 14 November 2019

Singaporeans reminded to be careful and safe during their overseas travel

Holiday overseas

Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia over the school holidays should check that their passports are stamped correctly, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday (Nov 13) in a travel reminder ahead of the upcoming school holidays.

Singaporeans should also be prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe during their overseas travel, it said.

The end-of-year holidays for primary and secondary schools in Singapore begin on Saturday, with students scheduled to return to class on Jan 2 next year.

Junior College students go on their break from Nov 23 or when their A-Level examinations end.

Those who require consular assistance may contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the MFA duty office at +65 6379 8800/8855.

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CPF’s Retirement Sum Scheme payout period to be capped at age 90 from 2020

The payout rules for the Retirement Sum Scheme under the Central Provident Fund (CPF) will change in 2020, with payouts lasting up to age 90 at most, instead of up to age 95 today.

The change comes after feedback from CPF members who felt that a payout duration up to age 95 was too long, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.

With the change, members whose payouts were originally projected to end beyond the age of 90 will now have their payouts end when they turn 90 instead, and they will thus effectively see an increase in their monthly payout amounts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in Parliament on Monday (Nov 4).

Mrs Teo said that the new rules will apply to all CPF members who turn 65 from July 1 next year. For older members who have already chosen to start their Retirement Sum Scheme payouts under the current rules, the new rules will apply to them from Jan 1 onwards with conditions.

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Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds, health agencies say

Pneumonia killed more than 800,000 babies and young children last year — or one child every 39 seconds — despite being curable and mostly preventable, global health agencies said on Tuesday (Nov 12).

In a report on what they described as a "forgotten epidemic", the United Nations children's fund Unicef, the international charity Save The Children and four other health agencies urged governments to step up investment in vaccines to prevent the disease and in health services and medicines to treat it.

"The fact that this preventable, treatable and easily diagnosed disease is still the world's biggest killer of young children is frankly shocking," said Dr Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccines alliance.

Pneumonia is a lung disease that can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Its victims have to fight for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.

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Staying muscly 'could ward off heart disease in middle-aged men

Image for illustration only

Staying muscly could ward off heart disease in older men and protect them from heart attacks and strokes, researchers say.

Australian National University scientists followed 1,000 middle-aged adults for ten years.

The most muscular men and women were up to 81% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those with the lowest muscle mass.

Rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity - risk factors for heart disease - were lower among the most muscular men.