Singaporeans fear the relaxation of the Covid ban

Newsletter: The path to recovery

Protesters from the United States to Australia and across Europe have protested against government intervention and the Covid ban. But in Singapore, a significant portion of the population is seeking more state control.

Despite widespread publicity for the Delta variant, an appeal is being made to the city-state to bring back mandatory segregation for all foreign travelers, while one-fourth of Singaporeans are in favor of repealing the lockdown restrictions.

The Singapore government announced in June with great optimism that it would change its “zero-covid” approach and learn to live with the virus instead.

Its strategy was kept as a model for other countries to find safe ways from epidemics. But as the case inevitably escalated in August and September, panic spread.

Authorities this week restored residents’ liberties, despite the fact that most developed economies are ahead in terms of fully vaccinating 2% of the population.

In more than 2,000 cases daily, working from home has become the norm again as primary school students return to home-based education. For the next month, only two dinners are allowed in the restaurants and families can only welcome two visitors.

The decision comes as some cities in Asia, most of which have avoided the huge number of deaths and lawsuits that crippled America and Europe last year, are apprehensive about reopening their economies and borders.

Asian financial centers such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo have struggled to find the right balance between protecting their citizens and reviving their economies.

September 2 The latest Global Financial Center Index shows that both Singapore and Hong Kong are down 25 points and Tokyo is down 300 points. By comparison, New York fell just two points and London three.

Singapore’s faded economic attraction was also reflected in this week’s announcement that its population fell 4.1 percent to 5.45 meters, one of the biggest declines of the year in the country’s history. The decline has resulted in a 10.7 percent decline in its non-resident population, mainly foreign workers and students.

But strictly regulated Singapore, whose semi-authoritarian government basically banned any protests, was the farthest from Asian cities in terms of opening it.

This decision has led to a rare occurrence in the city-state: an increase in public opinion on the government’s strategy.

Jeremy Lim of the Sue Hawk School of Public Health at National University said, “I have never in twenty years seen the academic or medical professional industry so vocal in their disagreement with the government because it is about treating asymptomatic disease.” Of Singapore.

Healthcare professionals have criticized widespread population testing while the government has sent test kits to every home, which has contributed to nervous residents with inadequate or fewer symptoms in hospitals.

According to the Ministry of Health, 2, 8 per cent of the 35 cases recorded in the last 2 days – or 2, 8 people had no mild or no symptoms.

Bar chart ('000) shows the severity of the case in the last 2 days in Singapore.

“A lot of people think there’s no point in screening without symptoms,” Lim said. “As a result, the high numbers are causing a lot of concern and anxiety. People are flooding hospitals and GP clinics. This affects healthcare manpower because staff are isolated and wards are closed.

A doctor working at a large hospital in the city said he needed to reassure a vaccinated Singaporean woman in her 20s who tested positive for Covid-1 for.

“People are really afraid of getting sick – many see it as a kind of personal failure,” he said. “This particular patient was asymptomatic but was waiting for his test results as if it was a cancer diagnosis.”

In Singapore, people lined up for quick testing of the Covid-1 ant antigen
Edgar Sue / Reuters – Mild or no symptoms recorded in% of cases recorded in last 2 days

According to market research firm Millie Insight this week, about a quarter of people in Singapore felt the recent bans were too relaxed, while more than half felt they were “OK”. A quarter felt they were too harsh.

“What surprised me was how divided people were. Stephen Tracy, managing director of Millie, said many people were upset by the move but were equally supportive of more restrictions. “However, there is a perception that the latest rules are not consistent with the strategy adopted by the government.”

An application calling for the separation of all returning travelers for two weeks at designated hotels or government facilities received nearly 3,000 signatures by Thursday. Singapore exempts travelers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brunei and Germany from quarantine. Passengers from other countries such as New Zealand and Australia can stay home separately for seven days. According to the Ministry of Health statistics, imported cases are a part of the overall case.

However, some experts argue that Singapore should be commended for what no other country has been able to handle: a controlled exit from the epidemic.

Dale Fisher, a senior infectious disease consultant at the National University Hospital in Singapore, said: “In other countries, the number of deaths and tolerance to cases is low because of the way we avoided it in most cases of the epidemic.” A big role in the city’s Covid-1 response.

Fischer added that the government should “avoid talking too much about lifting sanctions because things could change so quickly”. [approach] Safe. “

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