Singapore Covid-19 infections may rise

Singapore Covid-19 infections may rise as it prepares to reopen borders.

As Singapore works to reopen its borders for business and leisure travel, it expects the number of Covid-19 infections to rise. Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (August 18).

He said that the country would keep an eye on the situation to ensure that hospitals are not overcrowded.

However, in a LinkedIn post, Mr. Gan summarized a Bloomberg News interview. He said that “we will continue to put into place reasonable basic safety management steps domestically. And it will ensure it can control infections even with more travelers coming in.”

“Any relaxation of safety management measures in the community will also be dependent on how we manage our borders. And whether or not we can ensure that there isn’t an increase in infections.”

Meanwhile, he informed Bloomberg that Singapore wants to allow business travelers from Australia, Canada, and Germany. They have been vaccinated as part of pilot agreements to reopen their borders gradually.

He stated that the goal is to have 80 percent of the population vaccinated before September 1. Suppose it will lift additional pandemic restrictions.

However, the minister said that Singapore is also exploring ways to facilitate leisure travel with a managed itinerary.

He also stated that “We are working closely together with several countries. Hence, we will examine factors such as infection rates, vaccination rates, and the ability to manage outbreaks in our conversations with them.”

In his interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Gan elaborated upon these points. He also spoke about Singapore’s economic growth and the upcoming United States Vice President Kamala Harris visit.

Asked under what circumstances the country would tighten restrictions again, he replied that it depends on the number of severe Covid-19 cases requiring hospitalization.

He said that if Singapore experiences an exponential increase in these cases, it will likely have problems with its hospital capacity. 

However, suppose Singapore can slow down the rate at which such cases increase. In that case, it will be in a position to expand its hospital capacity.

He said, “We have enough (hospital) capacity right now, but that should not be taken for granted.” “We see an exponential increase in cases when there is a new wave of patients all over the globe. We want to prevent that.