COVID-19: More people caught meeting other households – Masagos Zulkifli

People wearing protective masks shop in a store in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — While there are significantly fewer people being fined for not wearing masks and breaches of COVID-19 safe-distancing measures in Singapore, more were being caught meeting with others from different households.

In a post put up on his Facebook page on Monday (1 June), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that there has been a 5 per cent increase in the number of people caught meeting with others from different households in the past week, compared to the week before.

“Our enforcement officers encountered people meeting up with buyers, chatting in groups in public spaces, exercising together in parks, and even a group of individuals from different households gathering and drinking together for a birthday celebration,” he wrote in his post.

“Such reckless behaviour compromises efforts to keep Singapore safe, and will not be tolerated. We must prevent a second wave of community spread.”

Social gatherings outside of households are still prohibited in Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period, which has begun on Tuesday. While visiting elderly parents or grandparents is permitted, it is limited to only two visitors from the same household per day.

Fines for not wearing masks down from 100 to 3 per day

Nonetheless, Masagos also noted that most Singaporeans have been following safe-distancing measures and wearing masks when outside of their homes.

“At the start of the enforcement period in April, there was a day when we had to fine 100 people for not wearing masks. On 31 May, we had only three fines,” he said in his post.

Fines issued against breaches of safe distancing measures have also come down by about two-thirds – from more than 250 fines a day in the initial period, to about 85 fines on 31 May.

With Singapore reporting zero cases of COVID-19 infection in the community on Monday, Masagos commended the public’s collective efforts to minimise social interactions that have led to the decline in community cases.

“We have averted a healthcare crisis so far, that could have put our healthcare workers and facilities under great stress. We can now concentrate on reviving the economy and avert a job crisis,” he said.

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