Singapore – Strict border restrictions are no longer particularly important as Singapore adjusts to life with Covid-19, according to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, which is why borders are reopening despite the fact that individuals are not permitted to meet in groups greater than two.
During a press briefing on Saturday (Oct 23), Ong, co-chair of the national Covid-19 task team, stated that Singapore is approaching “an equilibrium” and can live properly with the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
He explained that the most common concern he has heard is the question as to why restore borders but not allow larger groups to dine.
According to him, this is due to the fact that border control brakes are no longer really relevant. Border restrictions are required in order to curb the spread of the virus across the borders when Singapore had very few Covid-19 cases and other nations had very high infection rates. But the situation has now shifted.
He noted that transmission rates in many nations have leveled out and, in some situations, are lower than in Singapore.
Furthermore, only travelers who have been completely vaccinated and tested before departure or upon arrival have been permitted to enter.
“This is why, if you observe, imported infection statistics are quite low every day and represent a very small proportion of total community infections.” He added.
Border controls are one of the three brakes that the government has put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. The other two brakes are administering vaccines and booster shots to the people and implementing infection control measures such as limiting social gatherings to groups of two.
These brakes are required because learning to live with Covid-19 is like riding a bicycle downhill, he says, with the slope representing the virus’s Delta variant.
“Think of it as riding a bicycle downhill.” If you don’t do anything, the bike will accelerate until you lose control and crash. “However, if we apply the brakes precisely, the bike may continue down the slope at a steady, regulated speed,” he explained.
He emphasized the need of vaccinations in providing further protection to the population as resistance to the virus grows.