The sudden announcement of tighter Covid-19 restrictions yesterday (24 Sep) must have taken many by surprise as we had only just started getting comfortable increasing our social activities.
Aware of the effects of the abrupt changes, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) addressed the nation’s possible concerns in a press conference.
Co-Chair Lawrence Wong, in particular, assured that Singapore is in no way returning to heightened alert or a lockdown.
In a press conference on Friday (24 Sep), a member of the media raised the following concerns:
He thus asked how the MTF can assure citizens that our strategy to live with Covid-19 as an endemic is still on track.
In response to this, Mr Wong first acknowledged the disappointment and frustration people may feel towards the new restrictions.
He then explained that the MTF had arrived at the decision after very careful deliberation.
The main reason for them is the “tremendous pressures” the current, exponential wave of infections is placing on our healthcare workers and sector as a whole.
Like he and the rest of the MTF have mentioned many times before, they don’t want the sector to be overwhelmed.
Therefore, Mr Wong asked for Singapore residents to understand and rise in solidarity to support our frontliners.
Mr Wong added that the restriction period from 27 Sep – 24 Oct will help stabilise the healthcare system and better prepare it for any surge in cases.
Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong echoed this point in his Facebook post yesterday (24 Sep).
He listed examples like the expansion of hospital capacity and the new Community Treatment Facilities (CTF).
PM Lee also mentioned how the restrictions will allow more time for people to receive booster shots and vaccinations.
Like Mr Wong, he requested for residents to bear with the authorities as they try their best to protect all families.
Despite the new measures, Mr Wong emphasised Singapore’s commitment to our reopening plans.
He pointed out how we’re not going back to a heightened alert or lockdown despite the current wave of infections.
Instead, Singapore is only implementing measures to scale back social interactions and slow down the rate of transmission.
Moreover, they plan to continue with reopening plans once hospitals have been able to expand their capacities and stabilise.
As much as many of us would like to grumble about the changes, surely we can understand that the gravity of the current situation probably warrants them.
Let’s do our best to abide by the restrictions for the next few weeks until things get better.
Once they do, we’ll hopefully be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and work towards a greater semblance of normalcy again.
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Featured image adapted from govsg on YouTube.
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