Reaching impressive vaccination milestone, Singapore outlines a roadmap for 'living with Covid-19'

Reaching impressive vaccination milestone, Singapore outlines a roadmap for “cohabiting with Covid-19”

Singapore is on track to become Asia’s first country to fully immunize the majority of its population against Covid-19, moving closer to the end of the pandemic, at least in theory.

Having made relentless efforts to trace each infection and prevent the infection, Singapore is now building a roadmap to “live with Covid-19”. Instead of focusing on “herd immunity”, the country identified the difficult-to-go but controllable epidemic as a less deadly, flu-like illness.

Singapore is controlling Covid-19 well thanks to its impressive vaccination record. Photo: Straits Times

According to Nikkei Asia, with this approach, Singapore will become a “laboratory” for the rest of Asia.

With the number of new infections in the community continuously at single digits, from Monday (July 12), Singapore began to relax some restrictive measures. For the first time in 2 months, the restaurant is allowed to serve a group of 5 people, instead of just 2 people as before.

While many restrictions remain in place – such as wearing a mask, making medical declarations via a tracing app in public places, the Government of Singapore is considering implementing further recovery strategies thanks to high vaccination rates. .

Impressive vaccination record

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health, as of July 10, about 69% of Singapore’s 5.7 million people had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, double the number two months ago. The percentage of people who have had 2 full injections is 40%.

“We expect 50% of the population will get two doses of the vaccine in the week of July 26,” Nikkei Asia quoted Health Minister Ong Ye Kung as telling reporters last week, confirming that Singapore now has adequate supplies of vaccines. “This is an important milestone, we can open more,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, other economies in Asia still have a long way to go before Singapore’s current goal is reached. As of the end of last week, the vaccination rate in Japan was 17%, in Korea it was 11% and Indonesia was 5%. Several Southeast Asian countries are grappling with an unprecedented wave of severe infections, prompting many cities, such as Bangkok, to go into lockdown again.

Singapore is rapidly catching up with Western countries with high vaccination rates, such as the US (47%) and Germany (42%).

Israel is the first country to hit the 60% mark. However, the number of infections per day in Israel in recent times is gradually increasing again, from single digits to over 500, mainly due to infection among unvaccinated people. However, the number of serious cases increased insignificantly, only 47 cases on July 11th.

“There are already signs and signals from countries with high vaccination rates that we can control Covid-19 into a seasonal flu-like disease in terms of morbidity and mortality, if achieved. high level of vaccination is needed,” said Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong at a press conference.

“That’s why we think we can move to a scenario where SARS-CoV-2 is treated as a common flu, and we’ll be able to go on with our normal lives. So the government is preparing to reveal it.” progress towards the transition to the new scenario mentioned above,” said Wong.

Reaching impressive vaccination milestone, Singapore outlines a roadmap for 'living with Covid-19'

The roadmap “living with Covid-19”

The Singapore authorities have not released details, but in the Straits Times recently, the authorities said that “living normally with Covid-19” means that an infected person can be treated at home; people can test themselves regularly with quick and simple test kits; Safety regulations could be relaxed, and people could travel to low-risk countries with vaccination certificates.

Now, some details have been applied. People can buy Covid-19 self-test kits at pharmacies.

Temasek Foundation, a non-profit organization under the state investment fund Temasek Holdings, also started distributing free blood oxygen monitors to households. Reduced oxygen levels in the blood can be a sign of Covid-19 infection.

Meanwhile, the Singapore government also stopped publishing detailed information about Covid-19 cases. Previously, details such as each patient’s age and travel schedule were reported.

A real transition to “co-living with Covid-19” will help revive the economy after a record 5.4% decline in 2020. Lifting restrictions will provide a good opportunity for the food service industry. products, organizing events – which suffered great losses because of the limited number of customers.

Fear is still there

But in the context that the epidemic situation in neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand is increasingly complicated, it will take more time for Singapore to restore travel activities like before the pandemic. This means that Singapore’s transport and tourism will continue to suffer, forcing the government to rethink its development model.

There are also many concerns about the virus itself that causes Covid-19. Delta and many other variants have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Pfizer is applying for a third dose after data from Israel showed a decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine months after the injection.

Another concern in Singapore is low vaccination rates among the elderly.

According to Health Minister Ong, the rate of people who have had their first shot or scheduled for their first shot is 71%, the lowest among the eligible group as of last week.

“What we really need to do is vaccinate more elderly people. The problem is not that they refuse to vaccinate because ‘I don’t go out so I’m safe,'” Minister Ong emphasized. , explaining that when society is open, anyone can go out and take the vaccine home.

Even so, hopes are still high, as the Singapore Government expects two-thirds of the population to get two doses by the beginning of August, around the National Day mark of August 9.

Please contribute to the Government’s Covid-19 Vaccine Fund in one of the following ways:

  • (i) Donate directly via website:
  • (ii) Transfer funds through the Fund’s bank accounts. See detailed information on the website:
  • (iii) Compose a message with the following syntax: COVID NK to 1408, where N is any number between 1 and 2000, K represents the unit (thousand dong).

Thanh Hao

Singapore has not recorded community Covid-19 cases for the first time since April

Singapore has not recorded community Covid-19 cases for the first time since April

Singapore health authorities today (July 10) did not record any new cases of Covid-19 in the community, the first time since April 25.


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