SINGAPORE (April 7): We are barely four months into 2020 but life before COVID-19 seems like it was years ago.

As the epicentre of the disease shifts from Asia to Europe and the US, the human cost is growing. Governments around the world have been forced to adopt extreme measures such as locking down entire nations and enforcing strict limits on the movement of people. Yet the situation continues to evolve, bringing new challenges to everyone. Without a doubt, we are facing the biggest crisis in a generation.

Financial markets have reflected this uncertainty, with intense price swings across asset classes and benchmark stock indices falling into bear territory. As an open economy and global financial hub, Singapore has not been immune. The Straits Times Index has lost more than 20% since 7 February, when the government stepped up its risk assessment to DORSCON Orange. Our $500 billion economy will probably enter its first full-year recession in two decades.

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