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Singapore tries to blaze a path with COVID-19

News Desk || shiningbd

Published: 20:50, 20 September 2021  
Singapore tries to blaze a path with COVID-19

Only 60 people in Singapore have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic first emerged, and some 82 percent of its population is now fully vaccinated against the disease.

In June, the government announced it would move towards a “living with COVID-19” strategy, focusing on tracking and treating outbreak clusters with vaccinations and hospital admissions – but without the strict lockdowns, border closures, and work-from-home orders that have been the defining feature of much of the pandemic across the world.

That month, it began the gradual easing of its coronavirus curbs, but the weeks since have laid bare the challenges of moving from pandemic to endemic.

Relaxed restrictions have sent cases soaring. Reopening plans have been delayed and some restrictions have been re-imposed, giving lockdown-weary Singaporeans a renewed sense of deja vu.

After months of relatively low numbers of daily new cases, over the weekend Singapore reported crossed the 1,000 mark for new daily cases, the highest since April last year.

Health officials found 1,012 new cases on Sunday, up from 1,009 new cases on Saturday. There were 873 patients in the hospital on Sunday (up from 863 on Saturday), with 118 serious cases requiring oxygen support (up from 105 on Saturday), and 21 in critical condition in the intensive care unit (up from 18 on Saturday).

The government has called the increase a “rite of passage” as the island nation adapts and adjusts its hoped-for model of living with – as opposed to eradicating – the virus and its variants.

“We are on a path of transition to a new normal of living with COVID-19,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told a virtual press conference on Friday. “It is a journey that is uncertain and full of twists and turns.”Aljazeera.

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