Singapore’s Surprising New Plan To ‘Live With Covid’ Reveale
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A country that has been one of the world’s most successful at combating Covid-19 has announced it will soon fundamentally change how it manages the pandemic. Singapore has stated covid will be treated like other endemic diseases such as flu. There will be no goals of zero transmission. Quarantine will be dumped for travellers and close contact of cases will not have to isolate. It also plans to no longer announce daily case numbers. But you may need to take tests to head to the shops or go to work.

~ Singapore never got to zero, now doesn't want to

Like most countries, Singapore had an initial peak of cases last year, topping out at 600 cases a day in mid-April. Following a smaller wave in August, Covid-19 hasn’t flared up since. Singapore has strict border controls in place with most countries including tests on arrival, hotel quarantine and stay at home orders.

Singapore varies the demands on travellers depending on the risk in the location where they last visited. But all that would be eventually done away with under the plan put out by ministers Kung, Yong and Wong who make up Singapore’s Covid-19 multi-ministry task force.

Every year, many people catch the flu. The overwhelming majority recover without needing to be hospitalised, and with little or no medication. “We can’t eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza or chickenpox, and get on with our lives,” the trio said.

~ Vaccination first, then reduce restrictions

Singapore is set to have given two-thirds of its residents at least one jab within weeks and to have two thirds fully vaccinated by early August. It has recorded some fully vaccinated locals getting Covid-19, but none of them have had serious symptoms.

The ministers state it’s likely that would continue and booster shots may be necessary. Testing would also have to be easier and quicker. Self-administered tests, such as breathalysers, should replace the uncomfortable ear bud down the back of the throat method.

~ Singapore’s ‘new covid normal’

The ministers said Covid-19 could be “tamed” if not vanquished. They laid out what they called “a new normal”.“In time, the airport, seaport, office buildings, malls, hospitals and educational institutions can use these kits to screen staff and visitors.” People with covid would recover at home because symptoms will mostly be mild and close contacts would be vaccinated.

“Instead of monitoring Covid-19 infection numbers every day, we will focus on the outcomes: how many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on.

The ministers wrote that this would be a way for Singapore to navigate its way out of Covid-19, resume major events and travel internationally. They said the country was by no means at a stage where the post-covid plan could commence. For the time being, current restrictions would have to remain in place.

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