Singapore’s Wong says can’t rule out tightening Covid rules

SINGAPORE cannot rule out tightening Covid-19 restrictions again as it faces a resurgence in cases, though authorities expect to “ride through this wave” without having to do so, the Straits Times reported, citing Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

Wong’s comments, made to local reporters at a tour of a vaccination centre on Monday, comes on the back of warnings from ministers that the city-state will see another rise in infections, with calls for the elderly to take their booster shots. Separately, local broadcaster CNA quoted Wong saying that adjustments to measures will be made “if need be” and the government will be monitoring factors including the hospital situation and severity of the disease closely.

The financial hub has loosened many pandemic-related rules, including scrapping testing for vaccinated travellers and gathering limits, though some exceptions like mandatory wearing of masks indoors remain. Still, even as sectors like aviation and hospitality begin to recover, average daily infections over a seven-day period in the South-East Asian nation have jumped to over 5,500 from around 3,500 at the start of June.

“It’s always a highly fluid and dynamic situation and we will have to be prepared for any contingencies,” said Wong, who also co-chairs the country’s virus taskforce, according to CNA. Around 92% of the total population in Singapore are double-vaccinated, while over three in four have gotten a Covid booster. Hospitalisations have remained largely stable, though the number of virus-infected patients has risen above 300 over the past week, according to Health Ministry data.

The government will give all households 10 rapid testing kits next month, according to the media reports.  – Bloomberg