As the number of confirmed cases in Singapore goes up, and the fact that China tourists are no longer allowed to come to Singapore, focus is on the tourism sector in Singapore, which is expected to be hit badly as the number of tourists goes down. This makes sense, as apart from tourists from China, tourists from other countries would also think twice about travelling to Singapore, since Singapore has also been known to have a few exported cases, especially for the Grand Hyatt Hotel cluster.
The government has acknowledged that the tourism sector would be the hardest hit, and have begun preparing those working in the tourism sector for their financial well-being in this testing times. Just like during the SARS period, tourism numbers in Singapore will definitely go down sharply.
However, what is less spoken about is the impact that the virus has on taxi drivers and private hire drivers. With number of confirmed cases increasing, and cases of local transmission being confirmed, less and less people are going to expose themselves to unnecessary interaction with strangers. Thus, people would choose to stay home and indoors, rather than travel out. And even if they travel out, most would most likely arrange for their own transportation, with people they know and trust.
And with the most recent case of one taxi driver and one PHV driver confirmed to have contacted the virus, more and more people might avoid taking taxis altogether. Thus, it was no surprise that taxi drivers and PHV drivers have reported a drastic drop to their earnings. What can be done to help this group of drivers? After all, they are just out there trying to earn an honest living in an already crowded passenger service market. How many of them can survive financially through this period?