Snippets from Parliament Q & A on haze situation

Home delivery of medication if haze worsens

Should the haze situation worsen, the Health Ministry may arrange for the home delivery of medication for chronic patients.

Non-urgent health services and cases of elective treatment may also be scaled back at hospitals, if there is a need to free up hospital beds.

These are among possible measures in a plan drawn up by the Health Ministry to ensure Singapore remains prepared for worse bouts of haze in the future, disclosed Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in Parliament on Monday.

Other plans already in implementation include the transfer of some stable patients to nursing homes and community hospitals as well as the provision of air purifiers for vulnerable hospital patients.

Mr Gan was confident that hospitals had adequate manpower and supplies to ensure the continuation of critical services at all times.

Most firms stopped outdoor work during severe conditions

Two-thirds of 800 companies surveyed reported that they temporarily stopped outdoor work when PSI levels were "excessively high" during the haze crisis last month.

Most of the companies surveyed by the Workplace Safety and Health Council also put in place regular communications to employees and made adjustments to work, including allowing staff to work from home if possible.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi, who reported these findings on Monday, said the Government applauded these firms for being proactive in handling the haze.

Employees who believe their health is at risk may raise their concerns with the Manpower Ministry, and errant employees may be fined up to $10,000 for the first offence, and fined $20,000 or jailed six months for subsequent offences.'

Contingency plans for 2015 SEA Games

The SEA Games Organising Committee will draw up haze contingency plans for the 2015 SEA Games, to be held in Singapore in June that year.

The lessons from this year's crisis will come in handy, said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong clarified that the haze has been known to strike during the dry season from June to October - not just in June, as some media have reported.

During this year's haze crisis, care was taken so the health of athletes was not compromised, he said, noting how the Lions XII team and the national volleyball team trained indoors.

Review of indoor air quality code

The Government is reviewing the existing code on maintaining good indoor air quality.

"More measures may be introduced based on this study," said Senior Minister of State (National Development) Lee Yi Shyan.

Mr Lee was responding to a question from the Workers' Party's Gerald Giam on indoor air quality during the haze crisis.

He said that at a high level of pollution, "the building owners may have to monitor the indoor air quality, minimise the contact of outdoor and indoor air, and change or maintain the filters more frequently during a prolonged haze situation".

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