Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Asian city-state of Singapore has stood out as one of the countries that has best managed the health crisis. Now, it seems they are the first to understand what awaits us from now on.
As collected by the Australian portal News.au.com, Singapore has declared that the Covid will from now on treated like other endemic diseases such as the flu.
The Singaporean government zero transmission is no longer targeted. Quarantine for travelers will be ruled out and close contacts of the cases will not need to be isolated. It also plans to stop posting daily case numbers.
Singapore’s top ministers have said this is the “new normal” of “living with Covid.” “The bad news is that it is possible that Covid-19 will never disappear. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it among us,” wrote the Minister of Commerce, Gan Kim Yong, the Minister of Finance, Lawrence Wong, and the Minister of Health, Ong Ye Kung |, in an editorial of Straits Times this week.
“The virus will continue to mutate and therefore survive in our community.”
“(This) means that the virus will continue to mutate and therefore survive to in our community, “the ministers said in the statement.
“Every year, many people get the flu. The vast majority recover without needing to be hospitalized and with little or no medication. But a minority, especially the elderly and people with comorbidities, can become seriously ill and some succumb, “says the government.
“We cannot eradicate it (the coronavirus), but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like the flu or chickenpox, and get on with our lives, “said the trio of ministers.
“We cannot eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like the flu or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”
Vaccines are key
Of course, vaccination is key. The roadmap out of current measures could not begin until more people have been vaccinated. Singapore is expected to have administered two thirds of its residents at least one dose in a few weeks and two-thirds are fully vaccinated by early August.
Singapore has detected that some fully vaccinated citizens have contracted Covid-19, but none of them have had severe symptoms. Ministers say this trend is likely to continue and that booster injections are needed.
The Singaporean authorities also argue that testing should be easier and faster. Home tests should replace current PCRs. “Over time, the airport, seaport, office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, and educational institutions can use these kits to screen staff and visitors, “they say.
Thus, people with Covid would recover at home because symptoms will be mostly mild and close contacts would be vaccinated. Since most cases will be a minor problem, the need for contact tracing and quarantine will be low.
“Instead of monitor infection numbers by Covid-19 every day, we will focus on the results: how many get seriously ill, how many are in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated to get oxygen … This is how we now monitor the flu, “they explained.
“Instead of monitoring Covid-19 infection numbers every day, we will focus on the results.”
According to these ministers, this would be the way in which Singapore could get out of Covid-19, resume major events and travel internationally.
Singapore’s ministers said the country is by no means already at a stage where the post-covid plan can begin. For the moment, current restrictions must be maintained.
But they do already contemplate “a roadmap to move towards a new normal. History has shown that each pandemic will run its course “they concluded.