Singapore to spend 4.6 billion USD to fight virus hinh anh 1Singaporean people wear face masks to prevent coronavirus (Source: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore on February 18 announced a financial package worth 6.4 billion SGD (4.6 billion USD) to address economic impact of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In the Budget 2020 statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that it is not clear how badly the outbreak will hit the economy. “We must be prepared that the economic impact may be worse than we projected,” he added.

According to the minister, a 4 billion SGD package will be rolled out to keep workers in jobs, help companies with their cash flow and provide additional support for sectors directly affected by the disease.

Households will get additional help with the cost of living from a special 1.6 billion SGD package, with those less well-off receiving more.

This includes a one-off cash payout ranging from 100 SGD to 300 SGD for every Singaporean aged 21 and above.

Apart from this, 800 million SGD in extra funding will be given to front-line agencies fighting the outbreak.

Heng said the economic packages may cause a deficit of 10.9 billion SGD, or 2.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). However, the Government has accumulated sufficient surplus to fund the projected deficit without drawing on past reserves./.