Singapore has warned that if a fresh epidemic of the highly contagious Delta strain is not controlled, the city-state may be forced to re-impose Covid-19 restrictions, putting the city’s transition to living with the virus in jeopardy. According to the Ministry of Health in Singapore, the number of new Covid-19 infections has more than doubled in the last week, reaching moreover than 1,200 cases for the week ending September 5, up from less than 400 cases the previous week.
The Emergence Of The Delta variant Threaten Singapore’s ‘Living With Covid’ Paradigm
In all, as per Johns Hopkins University, 68,901 Covid-19 infections have occurred in Singapore, resulting in 55 fatalities thus far in 2018. On Monday, Lawrence Wong, the chairman of Singapore’s Covid-19 task group, said that the government of Singapore is concerned not only about the overall number of daily cases but also about “the pace where the virus is spreading.
” During the epidemic, Singapore implemented a strong “Covid zero” policy, implementing stringent restrictions that included closing eateries, sealing borders, and mandating social distance from the rest of the world.
However, in June, the government stated that it was going to transition to a living with Covid policy, in which it would try to manage outbreaks via vaccinations and hospitalized monitoring rather than limiting people’s freedoms.
New limitations have been implemented
Singapore does have one of the highest rates of Covid-19 immunization in the world, with much more than 80 percent of the population having received the whole dose of the vaccine. Over the course of August, Singapore started to loosen some of the Covid-19 limitations, including the ability for fully vaccinated individuals to eat in restaurants and to congregate in groups of five rather than the previous two.
But the current epidemic has put a stop to any future re-openings, according to Singapore’s Covid taskforce head Wong, who spoke to reporters on Monday. In order to control the current epidemic, Wong added, Singapore would increase its contact tracing efforts and use a “ring-fencing” strategy for patients and clusters of cases.
Additionally, mandatory testing of high-risk employees will be conducted more often, once a week rather than once every two weeks. Additionally, the list of employees subject to obligatory testing will be extended to include employees in the retail, delivery, and public transportation industries.
Wong urged people to avoid attending needless social engagements as authorities try to control the spread. Singapore has also prohibited all workplace parties as of Wednesday, and Wong advised them to do the same. He said that Singapore’s new policy and high vaccination rates were responsible for the country’s ability to retain a degree of openness throughout the current epidemic.
A word of caution to other nations
Singapore’s epidemic occurs at a time when other nations in the area, who had previously aimed for zero infections, are moving toward a model of living with Covid that is comparable to Singapore’s. Local authorities in the States in Australia of Victoria And New South Wales have been attempting to control Delta outbreaks for months, putting millions of people under lockdown for months. They’ve subsequently admitted that’s not going to be feasible anymore.