In the past week, we’ve seen some pretty encouraging signs with respect to our COVID-19 situation:
- cases have dropped below 2,000 on three occasions
- our ICU utilisation rate is currently at 57%, which is the lowest since the Ministry of Health (MOH) first released information on it on 25 Oct, when the rate was 83.6%
- our weekly infection rate has fallen to 0.77, which is the lowest since MOH started releasing information on it on 27 Aug
All this would point to a declining rate of spread and an improved COVID-19 situation.
Reader: This has to mean that more restrictions will be lifted, right?
You would think so, wouldn’t you?
Well, you’re wrong. At least for today.
Reader: *starts sobbing*
Gan Kim Yong Said S’pore Needed ‘a Few More Days’ Before Deciding on Whether to Ease COVID-19 Measures
The authorities need “a few more days” before they decide whether to ease the COVID-19 curbs currently in place.
That was the message Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong conveyed in a virtual interview with Bloomberg TV.
As you likely know, the tightened restrictions which kicked in on 27 Sep are supposed to end tomorrow (21 Nov), after it was extended once in October.
According to some of the formulas I learned from my maths teacher, “a few more days” is usually more than two days, and Mr Gan said this yesterday (19 Nov). Does this mean that the restrictions will be extended again?
In response to that exact question, Mr Gan said: “It’s really difficult to say, because it is still too early.” He explained that some of the effects of their recent relaxations, such as allowing members of the same household to dine together, has not been “fully seen” yet.
“So, it is important for us to watch very carefully, over the next few days and then take a quick review and decide whether or not there will be adjustments come 21 Nov,” he added.
Authorities Seek Patience Over Malaysia-Singapore Land VTL as It’s More Complicated
When asked if there are other Vaccinated Travel Lane agreements with other countries in the works, Mr Gan named Malaysia, saying officials from both countries are working hard to iron out the details.
Mr Gan explained that opening a VTL with Malaysia through land links is more complicated due to it being a lot more “porous”. Nevertheless, the authorities are cautiously optimistic that it could happen soon.
Mr Gan said there’s a possibility that this could happen on 29 Nov, but sought the public’s patience in the meantime over the uncertainty, acknowledging that many families are still waiting to be reunited.
You can watch Mr Gan’s full interview below:
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