In order to stop the spread of new clusters and to avoid a breaker on a 2nd circuit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has to tighten up measures against Covi-19 quickly, if needed.Mr Lee hoped that Singaporeans would be collaborating with the government on the virus and not drops their guards during his May Day Rally on Saturday (May 1.). He observed that Singapore’s Covid-19 situation could quickly worsen due to new strains of the virus.
“We are watching our own situation, and it can easily, quickly, turn bad again,” he 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.”
PM Lee comments came to the community in the midst of Covid-19 cases in the last week with new influenza waves spread across the world, fueling a number of Sars-CoV-2 virus infectious strains. Last week, out of 10 cases in the week before, there were 35 cases of community transmission here, many of which came from the first hospital cluster Covid-19.
After Tuesday’s positive Sars-CoV-2 virus testing by a nurse, the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster had grown to 13 cases on Friday. Another group has eight cases to date with an Immigration and Checkpoint Officer at Changi Airport and another seven cases in his family.There are also increased numbers of unlinked cases.
These developments led to tighter limitations on meetings, malls and travel, among other measures, announced by the multi-ministery workforce on Covid-19 on Friday.
PM Lee said: “The Government is doing everything we can to prevent these clusters from spreading in the community. And we will have to be agile and decisive in our response, to tighten measures promptly, when it’s necessary, to clamp down on the spread and to avoid going into a second circuit breaker.
“I hope Singaporeans will work with us and not let down our guard.”
He added: “It is not time to relax yet. This is a marathon. Let’s keep jogging. Let’s keep ourselves safe.
“Don’t make the mistake which other countries have done, celebrate too early, relax too fast, let your guard down, cause another wave to come – very often worse than the first – and more nasty drastic measures become necessary.”
PM Lee stated in his speech that Singapore is likely to achieve growth of 6 percent or better this year, with the global recession less long as feared – the United States economy is expected to rally significantly this year and China’s economic performance strongly.
But Singapore only went back where it was before the pandemic hit, and there was still no woods out of certain sectors, such as aviation, tourism and construction.
The recent ban on Indian travelers, in the midst of record infections in India exceeding 300,000, made things worse for the building industry, he added.
Accordingly, the government is working on emergency legislation to deal with this grave disturbance and “a fairer burden sharing between different parties—contractors, developers and buyers.”
“We will introduce the legislation, I hope in the next sitting of Parliament,” he added.
PM Lee also called for ongoing efforts to ensure construction workers’ well-being, health and security. He noted that the State provided relief and aid throughout the crisis, drawing on past reserves to finance initiatives such as the Jobs Support Scheme for firms over the recession and spending more than $50 billion (JSS). A lot of syndical leaders have been encouraging him to use the wage subsidies scheme, which was extended for the most hit sectors until September 2021, which he added.
“I said, we would think about this carefully. But please remember: JSS is artificial life support. It keeps us breathing for a while, but it doesn’t cure us, and it doesn’t last forever,” said PM Lee.
“We must find a way to fully recover, to get back on our feet, to build new muscles to move Singapore forward again.”
Source: The Straits Times