Singapore PM to Offer Covid, Reopening Plan in Monday Speech

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will tell the public “how we plan to keep Covid-19 under control, while progressively opening up again” in a speech Monday afternoon.

The solution moving forward will involve “testing, contact tracing, and vaccinating, all faster, and more,” Lee said in a Facebook post.

Lee’s post struck a cautious but optimistic tone. He said coronavirus cases have stabilized in recent weeks after the city-state implemented strict curbs, including temporarily banning dining-in, limiting groups to a maximum of two and moving most school-learning online.

There were 19 new cases of locally-transmitted infections reported on Sunday, with five currently unlinked to known clusters.

Each round of closures comes with economic risks for an economy built as a trade hub. Singapore recently announced S$800 million ($605 million) in additional support for businesses and individuals affected by restrictions imposed this month.

The government has said it sees maximum vaccination as a key to unlocking a more open future in a world where Covid won’t immediately disappear, and plans to offer every eligible person at least their first dose of the vaccine by the end of August.

The city-state currently has 222 confirmed coronavirus cases in hospitals, with three of those in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A 95-year-old Singaporean woman died on Sunday from Covid-19 complications, the Ministry of Health said in an update, bringing the total virus death toll to 33. The woman hadn’t been vaccinated against the virus and had a history of cancer, hypertension and hypothyroidism, according to the ministry.

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