The last time we mentioned “DORSCON” was in mid-May, citing an interview saying that “all hell broke loose” since DORSCON orange was announced.
So you can be forgiven if you somehow forgot that the DORSCON levels haven’t changed from orange since 7 Feb 2020.
But even with bubble tea shops reopening and finally being able to eat food freshly made at the kopitiam, it turns out that the DORSON levels might stay orange for some time.
Here’s why by our favourite bubble tea ambassador Lawrence Wong and his pal Gan Kim Yong, speaking yesterday at a virtual conference.
Virus Still Out There, People Still Getting Infected
The logic is this: Disease Outbreak Response System Condition or DORSCON, at orange, means an outbreak with moderate to high public health impact.
Since the virus isn’t gone yet, and people are still getting infected, the outbreak public health impact hasn’t changed at all.
Looking at the official DORSCON chart, yellow would indicate that the virus isn’t spreading in Singapore. Orange means the disease is contained but still severe, while red means virus is spreading widely in Singapore.
So DORSCON orange seems just right.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong then added, “My sense is that we ought not to let our guard down.
“The important message is that our trouble is not over yet and you still see a number of cases in the dormitories and, therefore, we actually need to maintain our guard and maintain our vigilance.”
Basically, the change in Phases is to restore the economy, which is separate from how serious the virus is.
In other words, even though our very unofficial Bubble Tea Index (loosely based on the real Waffle House Index) shows that bubble tea is operating with a full menu, and therefore the emergency is low, the truth is far from that.
A fun question you might want to think about is whether DORSON is red for the workers in dormitories but orange for outside the dormitories.
Virus Situation Can Still Get Worse
If you still need more convincing that DORSON levels shouldn’t change, then you should be reminded that it’s basically the government’s job to prepare for the future and tell us that things can get worse.
So Lawrence Wong continued to say that the fight is far from over.
Although many people are happy to be out there, it’s not guaranteed that Singapore can control the virus.
That’s true even if we have aggressive testing and surveillance.
“Something can flare up in a group, in an activity without our realising it until it’s… down the road and many, many cases have formed. So that’s something that constantly worries us.”
By the way, did you know that from now on, if you’re 13 and above, you’ll have to test for Covid-19 the first time you go to see a doctor for something like a cough?
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