Singapore will no longer publicise details of each Covid-19 case detected in the city-state, and instead focus on accelerating its Covid-19 vaccination programme, said the Ministry of Health.
The ministry’s routine daily update on the pandemic will still give daily case numbers, but also outline progress on the vaccination programme.
Singapore will still monitor those who fall seriously sick, and will keep track of the number of people in intensive care units, according to the ministry’s Tuesday update.
Last week, in an opinion article in the Straits Times newspaper, three Singapore government ministers outlined that Covid-19 would need to be dealt with as a managed disease, rather than with an eye on complete eradication.
“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,” read the opinion piece from Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai, and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
“We can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives,” they added.
“With vaccination, testing, treatment and social responsibility, in the near future, when someone gets Covid-19, our response can be very different from now,” the officials stated.
It is not clear from available reports how quickly a containment rather than eradication approach could see an easing of Singapore’s public policies regarding inbound travel from overseas.
Inbound international travel to Singapore has been severely curtailed – in common with many other jurisdictions in the region – as part of an eradication approach. Singapore has also in the past implemented periodic lockdowns to control spikes in the number of new local Covid-19 infections.
Singapore has twice attempted to start a limited air-travel bubble with Hong Kong, but has twice had to abandon plans due to the pandemic outlook. The most recent false start was in May.
Singapore is home to a casino duopoly, that for the past 18 months has seen its operators – Genting Singapore Ltd, via the Resorts World Sentosa complex, and a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp via the Marina Bay Sands resort – serving mainly domestic customers for hotel, casino and non-gaming services.
The Ministry of Health had said separately in a Tuesday update: “We continue to make steady progress with our national vaccination programme. As of 28 June, we have administered more than 5.3 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Around 3.3 million individuals, or about 60 percent of our population, have received at least the first dose of the vaccine,” the ministry stated.
The update added that 2.1 million individuals had received their second dose “and completed the full vaccination regimen,” as adopted in Singapore.
In other developments, it has been reported that Macau is considering a limited travel bubble with Hong Kong, possibly as soon as mid-July.
As of Tuesday, only 21.4 percent of Hong Kong’s population had been fully-vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data from the authorities there.
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