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Singapore will begin easing Covid’s restrictions as daily infections fall



A woman wearing a face mask as a prevention against Covid-19 walks along the promenade in Marina Bay in Singapore on May 4, 2020.

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SINGAPORE – The Singapore government said Thursday it would begin easing Covid-related restrictions as the number of daily infections has dropped.

Last month, the Southeast Asian country tightened social alienation measures to curb the rise in local Covid-1

9 infections. These measures, which do not include dining in food and beverage outlets and smaller social gatherings, have been in place since mid-May.

From Monday, Singapore will allow social gatherings for five people – an increase from the current limit for two people.

Restrictions on event participants and operational capacity in places such as public libraries and museums will also be eased, the government said.

We will have to learn to live with the virus and then try to minimize transmission and minimize the risk of large clusters breaking out.

Lawrence Wong

Minister of Finance of Singapore

From June 21, there will be further easing of restrictions. Activities such as restaurants, as well as some camouflage activities in gyms and fitness studios, will be able to be resumed with introduced measures for social exclusion.

However, work from home will remain the default for those who can do it, the government said.

Local infections in Singapore have fallen to single-digit levels in recent days. In total, the country has reported more than 62,000 cases since the beginning of last year, with 34 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the health ministry.

But Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the Covid working group in Singapore, said the country should be prepared to see more cases when it is revealed. He added that the country needs to continue its vaccination and testing efforts to mitigate large groups of infections in the community.

“We will have to learn to live with the virus and then try to do everything we can to minimize transmission and minimize the risk of large clusters exploding,” Wong told a news briefing on Thursday.

Progress of vaccination

Singapore said about 2.5 million people had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This is about 40% of the population.

From Friday, the country will allow people aged 12 to 39 to register for vaccination.

Wong said Singapore aims to get 50% of its population fully vaccinated by August. By October, that number will reach 75% or more, he added.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said vaccinated people receiving Covid-19 suffered less severe symptoms than those without vaccination.

Ong said that of all the cases since April 11, about 9% of unvaccinated, infected people need extra oxygen or intensive treatment. Less than 1% of fully vaccinated people who are infected need extra oxygen or intensive treatment, he added.


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