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Monday, January 30, 2023

Singapore has 83% of the population vaccinated. Instead of total liberation, it chose to harden the measures –

Singapore has 83% of its population vaccinated against covid-19. However, instead of reopening, the Asian city-state is tightening restrictions.

Vaccinating the majority of the population and achieving the so-called group immunity should be a “ticket” for total liberation, as happened in Portugal. However, Singapore decided to take a different path — in fact, a totally opposite one. Rather than alleviating the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, hardened the measures.

Singapore was an example in the fight against the new coronavirus. The outbreak still did not have a covid-19 name and the country had already acted.

It closed the borders, massively tested and tracked. The Asian city-state has enforced stringent laws to control covid-19 transmission. Take, for example, the case of an Englishman sentenced to six weeks in prison for not wearing a mask.

A leading Singaporean politician said the 80% vaccination rate was the criterion for a phased reopening, writes the The New York Times. Singapore has already vaccinated 83% of its population.

In September, cases began to increase exponentially. The government re-imposed restrictions on gatherings, telecommuting became mandatory again, and the pressure on hospitals increased dramatically.

Singapore has become an example for other countries looking to reopen without first having to deal with major outbreaks of the pandemic.

“Somehow, we are victims of our own success, because we’ve achieved as close as possible to zero covid and a very, very low mortality rate,” said Paul Tambyah, infectious disease specialist at National University Hospital.

The person responsible for task force Singaporean Lawrence Wong says the lesson for “naive covid societies” is to be ready for large waves of cases, “regardless of vaccine coverage”.

“Once we reopen, there will be more social interactions,” Wong said. “And given the highly transmissible nature of the Delta variant, we will have large emerging clusters.”

“In Singapore, we think that vaccines cannot be trusted only during this intermediate phase,” he added, quoted by the North American newspaper. “And that’s why we’re not planning an approach where we’ll reopen on a grand scale and just declare freedom.”

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