Prime Minister on Testing, Tracing and Vaccination

Prime Minister on Testing, Tracing and Vaccination

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.

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SINGAPORE – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday that the country’s Covid restrictions could be relaxed after June 13 if the situation improves.

“Barring another super-spreader or a big cluster, we should be on the right track to bring this epidemic under control,” he said in a televised speech.

“If our situation continues to improve and the number of cases in the community decreases further, we should be able to relax the restrictions after June 13,” he said.

The Southeast Asian nation imposed stricter measures twice in May, after the number of local coronavirus infections rose in April.

The surge in cases has also led to another delay in the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong.

“New normal”

Lee said Singapore is combating “more infectious strains of the virus” and will need to inoculate as many as possible to achieve “herd immunity” – which happens when enough people in the community are infected or vaccinated and that the disease can no longer spread quickly.

“We need to continually adjust our strategies and improve our game to keep Covid-19 under control,” he said, adding that the country will need to test, trace and vaccinate its population more quickly.

Singapore uses various types of Covid-19 tests as well as polymerase chain reaction tests, which are widely regarded as the gold standard.

“You should expect routine, large-scale, quick and easy testing to be part of our new standard,” Lee said.

As for contact tracing, people who live with close contact with an infected case will now need to be isolated. Previously, only close contacts had to be quarantined.

“This more aggressive approach will help us close the clusters faster,” he said.

Expand the vaccination program

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