2020 has been pretty insane.
And in a pretty bad way, mind you, mostly due to COVID-19.
However, if you look at recent data, we might feel a bit more relieved knowing that the cases in Singapore are relatively controlled.
Most of us are also looking forward to that sweet Phase 3 that could be coming soon.
But this is where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong steps in to tell us we need to keep our guard up.
PM Lee Spoke At A Virtual Conference
For those unaware, PM Lee took part in a virtual dialogue linked to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Thursday, 19 Nov 2020.
And he brought up some very important points.
The whole video is slightly over 36 minutes long so here are some of the points brought up.
Needing To Remain On Guard
PM Lee mentions that while things have stabilised, things have remained “very guarded”.
He says that despite countries opening up slowly, the caution still remains due to caution of the rebound of cases.
“I think that it would take quite some time and that there are many risks along the way.”
PM Lee would later mention that Singapore also does not “claim victory” despite the controlled cases.
He also says that the pandemic is being treated very seriously.
Hoping To Not Have Second Lockdown
The circuit breaker is not a period we would like to experience again.
No going out much, restrictions even when we can and of course, panic buying before it happened and leaving supermarkets empty.
Basically a nightmare.
Unsurprisingly, a second lockdown is also something that PM Lee hopes Singapore can avoid.
He says that Singaporeans might become discouraged and demoralised and that the economy will be greatly affected.
PM Lee also says that “things can still go wrong very quickly” and we need to continue to keep up and build current precautionary measures.
This includes things like virus testing and contact tracing.
PM Lee says that once those are even more solidified, we can slowly open safely and with a plan, instead of just reopening and hoping for the best.
Speaking of testing…
Vaccines Need Awhile To Have Impact
A vaccine for COVID-19 has been the wish of everyone since this whole fiasco started.
Recently, it was also reported that the first batch of vaccines is expected to arrive in Singapore by early 2021.
However, we would obviously want as many people to have the vaccine as possible.
PM Lee mentions that it’ll have to be given to a large chunk of the population, and might even need to wait to 2022 to see its full impact on the virus.
For the foreseeable future, he does not see Singapore moving away from any of its precautions despite the upcoming vaccine.
Travel And Imported Virus Cases
Do you know what’s something that’s going to take a while to recover?
PM Lee think that within two years, it might be possible to extend travel.
Yet, he also thinks that by that time, people would find working remotely and travelling less the norm as well.
However, if you look at things like our tourism economy, we might need even more time to recover, hence the need to open borders and have air traffic.
Which is where things like the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble comes into play.
This is where we citizens from either country don’t need to be quarantined when going to selected countries, only after having cleared some CVOID-19 tests of course.
However, this would also mean bringing more imported cases to Singapore.
Then the snowball effect happens of needing more vaccines, and the cycle continues.
As this might be unavoidable, PM Lee says that we should remain vigilant and tackle those cases when they come.
Other things he talked about include support for businesses, saying that the government has done a lot to help preserve jobs and businesses.
Featured Image: Asatur Yesayants / Shutterstock.com