If the coronavirus wrote a self-help book about perseverance and never giving up, it would likely become a bestseller in two days.
That’s because it doesn’t know the meaning of the words “give up”. It doesn’t know the meaning of any other words either, but that’s besides the point.
The virus has been persistently infecting people despite the entire world’s efforts to stop it.
Here in Singapore, we thought we had seen the worst of the virus, but we may have been wrong.
Now that we’re seeing the highest number of COVID-19 community cases in almost a year—point in case: yesterday (2 May)’s community cases—it might be time to stop relaxing after that long period of near-zero or zero community cases.
Experts Say Recent Spike in Community Cases is a Reminder To Stay Vigilant & Cautious
The recent spike in community cases shows that we can’t relax about the pandemic, not even for a moment, said Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.
Prof Teo noted how other countries have been forced to reimpose safety measures and lockdowns after opening up.
“This scenario could become a reality if we become complacent,” he warned.
He predicted that the current surge in cases would come down within the next couple of weeks or so, as long as contact tracing, testing, and quarantine protocols are as effective as before.
Cooperation from the public remains crucial, however.
This means adhering to stay home measures, seeking medical attention if you’re ill, observing safe distancing, and putting a mask on outside even if you’re a sovereign.
While Prof Teo expects more community cases to emerge, he believes Singapore is in a better position to tackle the outbreak than a year ago, as we have one-fifth of the population vaccinated and better capabilities in testing.
More people are also using TraceTogether and medical facilities have been reinforced to deal with such spikes.
Associate Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, believes that the recent rise in infections can be attributed to laxness.
“Everyone has been quite relaxed with the rules lately and this will be a good reality check for us,” he said.
9 Open Community Clusters
After months of merrily frolicking through the streets of Singapore with little to no fears of a COVID-19 resurgence, we now have 9 open community clusters to deal with.
The largest active cluster is the one at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), which began with the detection of a 46-year-old nurse’s infection on 27 Apr. The cluster currently has 27 cases.
Another cluster involves an officer from the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) who tested positive on 27 Apr. The cluster likely formed after he had a meal with his family, infecting seven of them. The cluster now has 9 cases.
The Westlite Woodlands Dormitory cluster, which currently has 7 cases, was formed when six residents of the dormitory were found to be linked to the infection of another resident – a 35-year-old Bangladeshi who tested positive on 19 Apr.
The OM Universal cluster, Papua New Guinea cluster, and the cluster at the community care facility at Tuas South all have 4 cases each, while 5 cases are linked to the NUS cluster.
The bunker tanker cluster, which has a total of 6 cases, was detected after a Indonesian sea crew member was found to be carrying the virus.
The smallest active cluster involves a 79-year-old Indian national who came here to visit his family member, who is a permanent resident. The man, his wife, and his son, all tested positive later on.
Unless we want to see a sequel to the circuit breaker—Circuit Breaker 2: Too Long, Too Lonely—we should probably listen to the experts and adhere to the rules in place.
Feature Image: kandl stock / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purposes only)