Singapore, 25th Oct 2021 – UGS Energy Private Limited will be exiting the Electricity Market from 27th October 2021.
All company’s clients will be transferred to the SP Group to ensure a smooth transfer.
“We wish to assure all clients that there will be no disruption to their electricity supply.
“As a token of our appreciation for our clients’ support, we will be offering them an ex-gratia payment,” said a UGS Energy spokesman.
The spokesman added: “It has been widely reported that the current electricity market conditions have made it difficult for retailers to sustain their business.
“We regret that we have to take this course of action due to the challenging market conditions. We appreciate the support from our clients through these years.”
UGS Energy has been working with EMA (Energy Market Authority) and SP Group to ensure a smooth transfer of all its clients to SP Group.
“We are grateful to EMA and SP Group for facilitating the transfer. However, those customers who would like to switch to another retailer, they have the option to do so at any time, said the spokesman.
UGS Energy entered the Open Electricity Market in September 2018, with the key objective of helping you enjoy the benefits from an open and competitive market.
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By Soo Khee Chee & Ooi Eng Eong
The Covid-l9 pandemic has hit the world hard. In four months we have seen millions infected, thousands dying and the healthcare systems of even the most developed countries strained to breaking point.
Many economies worldwide are struggling and may even collapse if this crisis continues. While most of the rich are significantly poorer, the poor are much worse off than before. The bleak reality is that many will succumb to the virus and millions more will suffer dire economic consequences. Both short- and long-term measures to reduce the number of Covid-l9 cases and prevent future outbreaks are urgently needed.
There are several overlapping priorities and strategies.
A treatment to prevent patients from deteriorating and dying. Many clinical trials are under way, while other drugs and innovative therapies are under development.
An effective vaccine – large-scale vaccination will confer herd immunity and stop the spread of this contagious virus. We cannot achieve herd immunity by allowing widespread infection of the people as the number of cases will quickly overwhelm healthcare systems.
While both drug and vaccine development is proceeding at an accelerated pace, there is still a mountain for researchers to climb. Scientists are trying to complete the bench-to-bedside journey for vaccine development — a process which normally takes more than 10 years — in a matter of months. Even through the most optimistic lens, it will be at least another year before a vaccine is ready for application.
FLATTENING THE CURVE
To continue to ﬂatten the epidemic curve so that the number of critical patients does not exceed the number of intensive care beds, and that patients requiring hospitalisation do not exceed hospital beds available.
Social distancing, circuit breakers and Iockdowns have worked to varying extents. However, these measures come with a massive price. Nearly every individual, community, business and economy has been affected. When the circuit breaker ends and when Singapore reopens its economy, the virus will return to the country through visitors and Singapore residents returning from overseas. Even China, which has been so successful in nearly eliminating the epidemic, is worried about the possibility of a second wave.
Until either drugs or vaccines against Covid-19 become available, we need to find a way to live with this virus. This infection is now too widespread and entrenched in the human population for it to be eliminated. How can we tolerate the presence of the virus while, at the same time, operating our economy and returning to some level of normalcy?
Despite the millions of Covid-l9 cases recorded to date, the proportion of infected individuals remains a fraction of the total global population. In Singapore, this ﬁgure represents less than 1 per cent of the total number of Singapore residents. A lockdown of the Singapore population to prevent those infected from passing the virus to others is not sustainable in the medium or long term.
Some governments have suggested that detecting antibodies to the virus could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” to allow individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against reinfection. However, there is no evidence yet that people who have recovered are protected from a second infection.
The way forward could be to identify the small number of possible cases quickly and distance them from the rest of the population. In tandem, mass screening could be done to highlight those who are not infected, and these people could receive a “health visa”.
Current methods of testing for Covid-19 are useful clinical diagnostic tests but are not suitable for mass screening. This is especially so because the nasal/throat swab needed to test for genetic material of the virus by polymerase chain reaction cannot be done at home or without suitable training.
Various research groups have developed serological tests to detect antibodies in those who had been infected. But patients generally produce antibodies only after eight to 10 days, while it is believed that they are most contagious before antibodies develop. Therefore, serology is not particularly useful as a screening tool.
For a “health visa”, we would need a test where a negative result indicates no infection with high conﬁdence. This is the same strategy we use to screen blood donors for HIV infection to make sure that blood products are safe. Instead of a nasal or throat swab, we would use saliva, which can he collected easily and with no discomfort. Research has found that the virus can be found in the saliva as well.
Screening for negatives, however, could sometimes result in a high proportion of false positive ﬁndings. Fortunately, technology now allows for three or more tests to be incorporated into a single device. In such tests. biosensors which identify viral products in the saliva can trigger speciﬁc optical signatures. These signatures are read off speedily, hopefully within minutes. If a result is positive, the test can automatically trigger other tests to ensure that the positive finding is truly indicative of infection, and not a false positive.
Such technology has already been used to detect biological products and biochemical reactions. Research is already under way to develop such biosensors, including from our laboratories at Duke-NUS Medical School, in collaboration with the infectious disease department of Singapore General Hospital and the department of biomedical engineering at the National University of Singapore.
In addition. an app can be incorporated into users’ personal mobile phones for the reading of these optical signatures. Besides personal use, such a device can also be used in situational testing, such as entry into cinemas, places of worship and sports events. Singapore has the technology and the expertise to develop such devices. Using a self-administered saliva-based test overcomes the disadvantages of lab or clinic-based testing. It would be similar to dip-stick tests for diabetes and pregnancy.
A test where a negative result gives high conﬁdence that a person is infection-free could serve as a “health visa” to allow him to return to society from lockdown. The test could also be coupled with a mobile phone app to capture other clinical information such as his temperature, to complement the saliva test result. Temperature readings can be done seamlessly each time a person uses his mobile device, to see if the user has a fever, with the help of a temperature app with an add-on sensor.
The strategy is simple: Mass self-screening using saliva, and rapid optical readings incorporating the reading device into personal mobile phones for periodic self-testing, complemented with daily temperature readings from the mobile phones. This would allow everyone to maintain a “health visa” that is up to date, and work towards unlocking the lockdown.
Professor Soo Khee Chee is the Benjamin Sheares Professor of Academic Medicine at Duke-NUS Medical School. He was founding director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) from 1997 to 2017. In his laboratory in NCCS, his team used optical methods to detect antigens in the saliva of patients with oral cancers.
Professor Ooi Eng Eong is Deputy Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School. He is a three-time recipient of the National Medical Research Council Clinician-Scientist (Senior Investigator) Award.
This article was pitched to The Straits Times by Sunny Wee and first published on 9 May 2020 as part of the Covid-19 Special: Science Talk column.
Clothes make the man, so said American author Mark Twain. Today this is especially true at the work place. The way we dress has an impact on the people we meet professionally or socially, which in turn affects how they perceive and react to us. When meeting a new client or the boss, being assessed based on appearance is inevitable. After all like a book, everything begins with looking at the cover. So, it is important to look presentable at work.
Those working in the office can enjoy the comfort of air-conditioning, and the prospect of looking crisp and polished in those long-sleeved corporate clothes. But if you have to spend some time outdoors, take public transport or cycle, or walk to an appointment, then it’s a different story. Beads of perspiration will trickle down your forehead and body. Things can get a little sticky.
Natural lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen are our best friends for our weather. As it is difficult to ascertain how heat-friendly a particular piece of garment is when trying it on in the air-conditioned fitting room, be sure to check the garment tag or ask the retail assistant about the material. The garment should feel light-weight in your hands. Avoid synthetic and clingy materials. The less that a fabric adheres to your skin, the more comfortable it will be. A problem with full-linen fabrics is that they wrinkle easily, so you may want to go for cotton blends or silk-linen blends.
Choose light neutral colours like white, tan and light grey. These are corporate-friendly colours but more importantly, they absorb less heat compared to darker colours. If you are prone to sweat patches, avoid pastels and marl grey. Prints will help to camouflage the patches. Simple floral or geometric designs are the way to go. If all else fails, a short-sleeved cardigan or long scarf for the ladies and a waist coat or lightweight blazer for the men can save you from some stares.
Cotton T-shirts are comfortable for the heat, and the good news is, they aren’t only good for casual Fridays. A suitable T-shirt for work should be form-fitting and it should be plain or have a simple design. For the ladies, wide-leg pants and long skirts are in fashion now, and they will go well with the T-shirt for a smart-casual work outfit. Add a scarf or an eye-catching accessory to glam it up. The men can layer your T-shirt with a lightweight cardigan or blazer rolled up at the elbows for the suave business-casual look often spotted in Korean dramas.
Don’t neglect your feet. Heat escapes the body through your feet and head. So, make sure you dress to allow the heat to flow through. Leather is classy but traps heat. Consider loafers which are available in a wide variety of materials. Linen or silk-cotton socks will keep your feet reasonably cool and comfy. For the ladies, open-toe pumps and sandals are the obvious choices. If you don’t wish to show your toes, wear skin-coloured ballerina socks.
– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine.
Picture from Pixabay
Stay healthy, eat wisely and exercise — this is one of the points emphasised by PM Lee Hsien Loong in his 2017 National Day Rally speech. Ideally, people should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Walking at least 10,000 steps a day can be an alternative goal. ”Let’s all make the effort to walk a little bit more and work it into our daily routine, ” said PM Lee.
There are three major parks developed by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council which offer good opportunities for residents to stay active and live well. These parks are located within close proximity to the blocks of flats and each focus on a different set of activities to reach out to the needs of our residents.
Bishan-Active Park offers an all-in- one solution to meet the sporting needs of the youths and at the same time provides an open place where families, neighbours, or just about anyone can enjoy some time together. Because of its wide-open space, it has also attracted the occasional kite-flying.
The open ground is home to many a soccer match between groups set up by residents. There is also the specially designed track around the field for a good jog or run around the perimeter. This is particularly popular among runners in the evening hours after a busy work day. There is the fitness corner for senior citizens and younger adults. The young ones would enjoy the roller-blade track and there is never a lack of takers for the basketball court. One more special feature is the sandy beach volleyball court where youthful men and women battle it out with enthusiasm.
Within the park is a podium and hardstanding area offering opportunities for residents to gather, relax and enjoy time together either for a mass aerobic exercise, or group yoga. And, for the children, there is a playground for them to tumble and rumble.
Located along Bishan Road, the Bishan Harmony Park occupies some 25,000 plus square metres of ground and offers a variety of facilities. A large in-line skating court attracts many skaters who would come complete with their gear to burn away their energy. Another special feature is the skating bowl, which literally is in the shape of a crater. The curved walls of the blows allow skateboarders to ride across and around the bow back and forth.
Like all parks built by the Town Council, the park also caters to residents who want something less robust. There are eight fitness corners for a variety of exercise routines. For the elderly, there are three pavilions to rest after a brisk walk around the park, which has quite a rugged terrain. There are also a multi—purpose court and two barbecue pits. For the kids, there is a garden maze to run around.
A lucky visitor may even get a glimpse of a furry squirrel scurrying around a variety of floral and shrubs.
Heights Park is located in an area somewhat enclosed by blocks of flats. It is near Block 144, 147, 148 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, and serves as an attractive ”green lung” for the residents. It is also one of the first 3G parks — three generation park — catering to the children, the young and the elderly.
Unlike the other two above-mentioned parks, this park puts emphasis on fitness stations. It has a line-up of various elderly fitness stations, and there are instructional signs at each station to guide residents how to use them. These stations are located close to leafy trees that provide good shade on a sunny day. There is a special foot reflexology path flanked by support railings, with soft pebble stones to massage and stimulate neurological reflex zones on the foot.
Even as the grandparents are exercising, their grandchildren can enjoy the two playgrounds that each cater to age groups 2—5 years and 5-12 years respectively. There is also a hedge maze to play hide and seek. There is a multi-purpose court that is great for team games like sepak takraw.
Another attraction is the jogging track around the park. One complete round of the circuit is about 420 metres and if you do six rounds, you would have achieved a little more than 2.4 km. This is helpful for all the students and NS men who have to pass their annual fitness tests.
– This article first appeared in a Town Council newsletter.