Doing everything to prevent COVID-19 second wave in Singapore: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Gurdip Singh
·3-min read

Singapore, May 1 (PTI) Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday appealed to Singaporeans not to be complacent against the deadly pandemic as done by people in some other countries and said his government was doing everything it can to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

In his May Day Rally speech, Lee said new clusters are emerging after a long period of very few community cases, with some being “quite big and worrying”.

“The Government will have to be agile and decisive in its response, and tighten measures promptly when necessary to clamp down on the spread and avoid going into a second “circuit breaker,” said Lee, urging Singaporeans to work with the Government and “not let down our guard”.

“It is not time to relax yet. This is a marathon. Let’s keep jogging. Let’s keep ourselves safe,” he added.

He said Singaporeans should not make the mistake of what other countries have done.

“Don't make the mistake which other countries have done - celebrate too early, relax too fast, let your guard down (and) cause another wave to come. Very often worse than the first and more nasty drastic measures become necessary,' Lee said.

“If we have to do another lockdown like last year’s circuit breaker, it would be a major setback for our people and for our economic recovery. Let’s not make it happen,” he added.

Under Singapore's Circuit Breaker Policy, Singaporeans are advised to stay home as much as possible. The policy that was passed in the Singapore parliament in April, 2020, all gatherings with family or friends who do not live together are banned.Gatherings at home, public spaces are also prohibited.

Lee noted that Singapore’s economic outlook has brightened considerably, with the global recession being less protracted than initially feared.

Given the external trends such as a strong recovery anticipated in the United States, there is “a very good chance” for the economy to see growth of “6 per cent or more this year, he added.

Lee said the efforts and sacrifices of many workers have been a reason why the country managed to keep the pandemic under control so far.

For instance, healthcare workers have been on the frontline, testing, vaccinating and treating patients.

Aviation workers, whose livelihoods were severely impacted, also joined the frontline by becoming patient care ambassadors, contact tracers and safe distancing ambassadors.

Workers in the construction sector have also experienced COVID-19 at “ground zero”, said Lee.

In addition, the recent ban on travellers from India has worsened the situation for the industry.

Singapore on April 24 stopped allowing entry to all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India within the last 14 days due to the surge in cases and deaths of coronavirus in India.

As such, the Government is working on “emergency legislation to address this severe disruption and to share the burden more fairly between the different parties”, namely the contractors, developers and buyers.

“We will introduce the legislation, I hope, in the next sitting of Parliament,” said Lee. PTI GS RUP RUP