Singapore is one of several countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas that have been encouraging people to mostly return to their daily rhythms and transition to a kind of pandemic new normal. You now face tough decisions about how to handle the growing number of cases that reopenings tend to bring.
After recent outbreaks at karaoke lounges and a fishing port, Singapore reimposed restrictions on Thursday that it had lifted just a few weeks ago. Eating at restaurants and gatherings of more than two people was prohibited until August 18, and one of the best-known businesses in the city-state, the Marina Bay Sands Casino, was closed for two weeks to do a deep clean and stop a Covid group there. of propagation.
Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s finance minister and co-chair of the government’s Covid task force, told reporters this week that the restrictions were a “preventive measure.” squeeze in“To stop the acceleration of the pace of community transmission.
Singapore averages 117 new cases a day, according to a New York Times database, or about two per 100,000 people. That rate is much lower than many other advanced economies and a fraction of neighboring Malaysia. But it still represents a sharp increase in the last two weeks.
In late June, Singapore officials announced plans to gradually ease restrictions and chart a path to the other side of the pandemic in which officials would focus less on the number of Covid infections and more on how many people were seriously ill. by the virus.
Singapore authorities deliberated extensively on whether to reimpose restrictions this week, Wong said. Ultimately, they did it to protect vulnerable groups, including older people, who are not yet vaccinated to levels that would protect them from Covid, he added.
As of Thursday, nearly three-quarters of Singaporeans 5.7 million had received at least one dose of a vaccine and nearly half of them were fully vaccinated. The city-state is ranked 13th in the world in doses administered per person, according to a New York Times tracker. That puts him just behind Israel and ahead of Belgium.