Singapore poised to keep status quo despite higher COVID numbers

Minister Lawrence Wong pointed to the recent infection wave similarly happening in Israel.

Minister Lawrence Wong stated in his opening remarks for the Multi-Ministry Taskforce press conference that Singapore’s government has plans to reopen even with the increased number of COVID-19 cases.

Wong stated that this was done to prevent a higher infection rate. 

“Very soon we will reach 1,000 new cases a day, and in a few weeks’ time, we will probably get to 2,000 new cases a day. That's why we have to take a more cautious approach in the current situation and make sure that we adjust quickly to this fluid and rapidly changing infection situation.”

A higher vaccination rate is also credited by Wong for keeping these numbers manageable.

Despite this, however,  the minister cites Israel’s experience with the effects of a new wave of infections for the restraint. 

“Take Israel as an example. It's a highly vaccinated population. It's now going through a wave of infection, cases have gone up sharply, and the ICU cases have also risen. And over the past week, they have seen an average of 25 deaths a day. That is why we are asking everyone to exercise restraint during this period, scale back on non-essential social activities, get tested regularly, and let’s all do our part to try and slow down the spread of the virus.”

Wong also goes as far as to say that the introduction of new measures is for their last resort. According to him, this would depend on whether or not the hospitals could keep up with the demand for ICU. 

Wong also describes several steps that the government is pushing, such as the adjustment of healthcare protocols and minimizing social activities, particularly those for senior citizens. Widespread testing and the continued rollout of vaccinations were also cited by Wong.

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