“COVID will never go away”: Singapore’s plan for the new normal

 “COVID will never go away”: Singapore’s plan for the new normal

Raffles Place in Singapore. Photo: Ramir Borja. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore has stood out as one of the countries that has best managed the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it seems that they are the first to understand what awaits us from now on.

As reported by the Australian portal News.com.au, Singapore has declared that COVID-19 will now be treated like other endemic diseases such as influenza.

The Singaporean government is no longer targeting zero transmission. It will scrap quarantine for travelers and will no longer need to isolate close contacts of cases. It also plans to stop announcing daily case numbers.

Singapore’s top ministers have said this is the “new normal” of “living with COVID.” “The bad news is that COVID-19 may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst,” the Minister of Trade Gan Kim Yong, the Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, and the Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung, wrote in an editorial in the Straits Times this week.

“This means that the virus will continue to mutate and therefore survive in our community,” the ministers said in the statement.

“We can’t eradicate the coronavirus, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like the flu or chickenpox, and get on with our lives,” the ministers said.

However, vaccination is key. The roadmap out of the current measures could not begin until more people have been vaccinated. Singapore is expected to have given two-thirds of its residents at least one dose in a few weeks and two-thirds to be fully vaccinated by early August.

Singapore has detected that some fully vaccinated citizens have contracted COVID, but none have had serious symptoms. Ministers say this trend is likely to continue and booster shots will be needed.

“Instead of monitoring COVID-19 infection numbers every day, we will focus on outcomes: how many get seriously ill, how many are in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated. This is how we now monitor the flu,” they explained.

According to these ministers, this would be the way for Singapore to come out of COVID-19, resume major events and travel internationally.

-Thailand News (TN)


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