Lawrence Wong Says Singapore Is Unlikely To Go Back To Phase 3 After 13 Jun
As Singaporeans braced themselves for a possible extension of Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) yesterday (31 May), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave a rather uplifting speech to curb worries.
He assured that Singapore is on track to bring Covid-19 under control and laid out a cautiously optimistic plan of the new normal.
PM Lee Assures Covid-19 Won’t Dominate S’poreans’ Lives In The New Normal
However, this doesn’t mean that we will be making a swift return to Phase 3 after P2HA ends.
The situation still requires daily assessment of risks before authorities can arrive at a decision.
Singapore unlikely to return to Phase 3 after P2HA
Speaking at a press conference after PM Lee’s national address, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said it’s “very unlikely” we will go back to Phase 3 on 13 Jun — the last day of P2HA.
We will have to do this in a controlled and calibrated manner.
If new clusters are emerging with more unlinked cases in the coming weeks, Minister Wong said current restrictions might continue for a longer time.
Authorities will update their daily assessments.
He noted that if data gives them a sense of low community spread, there may be a chance for some adjustments and relaxations of measures.
Singapore awaiting info on Vietnam variant
Minister Wong responded to a journalist who asked how far the number of Covid-19 cases would have to fall before measures can be relaxed.
She also asked if there are any traces of the new Covid-19 variant from Vietnam in the community.
Singapore director of medical services Assoc Prof Kenneth Mak said Vietnam has not submitted formal information via the global registry Singapore uses to track emerging viral variants worldwide.
Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology discovered a possible new variant after testing 4 cases. They found a particular gene in the variant that codes for part of the spike protein on the B16172 variant had been deleted.
Prof Mak said WHO has asked all countries to exercise caution in interpreting the results of the variant.
This is because the deletion isn’t known to be linked to any increased virulence or transmissibility for now.
Hence, Singapore is currently awaiting sufficient data before ascertaining whether the Vietnam variant would become a variant of concern.
We’re not out of the woods yet
This is a sobering reminder that we aren’t out of the woods yet. However, the inspiring vision painted by PM Lee yesterday can be a goal we can aspire towards.
Keep our masks up, get vaccinated, and practise good hygiene—we should be on track to leave Covid-19 behind us.
For now, fingers crossed that we’ll return to Phase 3 sooner rather than later.
Here’s a summary of key updates in PM Lee’s national address yesterday:
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