Singapore is currently in the thick of an Omicron wave, with 5-figure case numbers reported daily.
However, even as we deal with the current wave, Singapore has to prepare for a new Covid-19 mutation that will enter the country.
When that happens, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong hopes the future new variants will be milder than Omicron, he told CNBC.
However, he won’t rule out that a more deadly variant will arise either.
Minister Wong said this in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia aired on Monday (21 Feb), reported The Straits Times (ST).
It was in response to a question by host Martin Soong on the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, which was already found in Singapore.
Though the minister said they “don’t have any indications yet” about BA.2, he’s sure of one thing,
… before too long, there will be a new mutation around the world and it will come into Singapore.
Thus, Singapore will have to be prepared for that new mutation, even if it may not come now, but perhaps in 6 months, the minister said.
He added we’ll also have to be prepared for a more dangerous or deadly Covid-19 variant, warning that we shouldn’t rule out this possibility.
However, Minister Wong does hope that any future variants will be milder than Omicron.
This will give Singapore confidence, boosting hopes that we’re nearing the end of the pandemic.
As for the current Omicron wave, Minister Wong sounded a note of confidence. Singapore is “quietly confident” that we can deal with it, pointing to our:
On the flip side, it’s true that we’re seeing record-high numbers of cases – which could go over 20,000 daily – and healthcare workers are quite busy and facing manpower shortages.
However, the ICU situation is still under control, Minister Wong assured.
It’s “within the limits that we have provided for”, and we haven’t exceeded the capacity that we have today.
In fact, he even had more good news, saying that if the current situation is maintained,
We believe that we should be able to take some decisive steps towards easing once we have passed this present peak of the Omicron wave.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung echoed the same thing in Parliament on 14 Feb, when he said Singapore may ease restrictions after the Omicron surge peaks and subsides.
S’pore Restrictions May Ease After Omicron Surge Peaks & Subsides, Situation Will Be Monitored
After 2 years of Covid-19 and assorted variants, Singapore has a strategy to deal with them now.
Minister Wong described the strategy as “vaccinations, boosters and therapeutics”.
While scientists and the Government are still studying whether a 4th vaccine dose will be necessary or not, he thinks the abovementioned strategies remain sound.
They’ll map out a clear path towards resuming normal life, the minister added.
Singaporeans have, by and large, already started living with Covid-19.
However, the thought of new mutations to come still sends a shudder down our spine, considering the uncertainly around them.
Like Minister Wong, we hope they’ll be milder than Omicron.
We also would like to share the cautious optimism that Singapore will be able to handle whatever comes at us in the future.
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Featured image adapted from Lawrence Wong on Facebook.
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