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Risk of circuit breaker ‘not dominated out’ as COVID-19 taskforce declares tighter measures

SINGAPORE: Singapore has not dominated out the opportunity of one other “circuit breaker” in gentle of the latest improve in COVID-19 instances in the neighborhood, nevertheless it hopes to keep away from that state of affairs with newly introduced restrictions, mentioned Well being Minister Gan Kim Yong.

The Ministry of Well being on Tuesday (Could 4) introduced additional tightening of COVID-19 measures, together with limiting social gatherings and the variety of distinct guests to a house to 5 individuals from Could 8 to Could 30. It is a discount from the eight individuals allowed at present.

Amongst different modifications, the proportion of workers allowed to return to the office may even be lowered throughout the identical interval, whereas capability might be lowered at points of interest, libraries, excursions and MICE occasions.

READ: Cap of 5 individuals for social gatherings, family visits to return as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

“I believe it is essential for us to make clear that we’ve got not dominated out the opportunity of a circuit breaker. Actually we hope that we cannot get there and we should do what we will with this set of measures we have simply introduced,” Mr Gan mentioned on the press convention of the multi-ministry process pressure, which he co-chairs.

“With the cooperation and help of all Singaporeans, I believe we in all probability will have the ability to keep away from having to get to a circuit breaker state of affairs however we can not rule that out,” he added.

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“And that’s the reason we’ll proceed to stay vigilant, monitor the state of affairs and regulate our measures as we go alongside.”

READ: Singapore should tighten COVID-19 measures ‘promptly’ if essential to curb unfold, keep away from second circuit breaker: PM Lee

Training Minister Lawrence Wong likened the brand new set of restrictions as a transfer “again to Section 2”.

He added that the state of affairs at present “is just not fairly the identical” as final 12 months when the circuit breaker was applied. The circuit breaker interval was in place from Apr 7 to Jun 1 final 12 months, with measures that embody home-based education and most workplaces being shut.

“If we have a look at the symptoms when it comes to unlinked instances and extra rigorously when it comes to what we’re selecting out from the sentinel surveillance, I would not say that the state of affairs is the place we have been … earlier than we entered the circuit breaker final 12 months,” mentioned Mr Wong, in response to a query about why authorities are taking a “phased method” with the tightening of measures.

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“We’ll liken it extra to the early section after we entered into the COVID-19 outbreak and we have been seeing sprinkling of group instances … Possibly extra just like the state of affairs (in) February, March, reasonably than proper earlier than the circuit breaker, so there’s a qualitative distinction within the state of affairs evaluation by our public well being consultants,” he added.

READ: Travellers with latest journey historical past to greater danger locations will serve 21-day stay-home discover from Could 8

Singapore additionally has “much better” capabilities in terms of testing and phone tracing now. These enable the authorities to maneuver quicker in figuring out potential shut contacts and having them examined.

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“We predict we’re in a position to snuff out the present outbreak of clusters and convey issues beneath management,” mentioned the minister who co-chairs the multi-ministry process pressure with Mr Gan.

“However as a further pre-emptive step, we’re taking this transfer that we’ve got simply described – bringing the entire suite of measures again to Section 2 and taking a a lot tighter posture general,” mentioned Mr Wong.

“And we imagine that if we do this and if everybody cooperates from now to the … finish of Could, we’ve got a superb likelihood of bringing instances down and getting issues again on management.”

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Mr Gan, who will transfer to the Ministry of Commerce and Business on Could 15 as a part of the latest Cupboard reshuffle, additionally mentioned that he’ll proceed to be concerned within the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce.

Present Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung is ready to take over as Minister for Well being.

Mr Gan, who has been the Well being Minister for nearly a decade and performed a key function in Singapore’s combat towards the pandemic up to now, mentioned: “I’ve been discussing with my co-chair Minister Lawrence Wong, in addition to the incoming Minister for Well being Ong Ye Kung, and we mentioned how we will guarantee continuity.”

He added: “The three of us will proceed to be concerned within the (multi-ministry process pressure) and we’ll proceed to share and help each other as we go forward.

“Even when I transfer to the Ministry of Commerce and Business, I’ll proceed to work with the opposite two co-chairs with the intention to make it possible for there’s continuity.”

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