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PM Lee says Singapore will take 3-6 months to ‘new normal’, rules out Covid lockdown

By PTI

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Saturday that it will take three to six months for Singapore to return to the ‘new normal’, once COVID-19 cases stabilize and assured that the city-state will be kept on hold indefinitely. cannot be closed.

While the country will have to be prepared to see many coronavirus cases ‘for some time to come’, Singapore cannot be locked down and locked down indefinitely, Lee said in his name of the nation on the pandemic. Said in the speech.

“It won’t work and it will be very costly. We will be unable to resume our lives, participate in social activities, open our borders and revive our economy. All this can result in psychological and emotional stress and mental fatigue. reasons,” he said. Lockdown possibilities.

“It will take us at least three months to get back to this new normal, and maybe as long as six months,” Lee said.

For example some countries in Europe have reached this state, but they have paid a huge price for it, many people have lost their lives along the way, he said.

The prime minister said the new normal would mean easing of restrictions and taking only mild measures, with cases remaining stable maybe a few hundred days, but not rising.

Under the new normal, hospitals will also go back to ‘business as usual’, and people can resume pre-pandemic activities and see crowds again ‘without feeling anxious or awkward’.

This is when Singapore can ease restrictions and take ‘mild’ safe management measures, with cases “maybe hundreds a day, but not rising”, Lee said.

“Sometimes it may not feel like it, but we are making steady progress towards the new normal,” he said.

However, Lee said there could be a boom in the future, especially if new versions come out.

He said, “If cases rise again very rapidly, we may have to tap the brakes to protect our healthcare system and healthcare workers. But we are better able to deal with future surges,” he said. Will be.”

Acknowledging that the next few months will be “trying”, the prime minister said a boom ??hope?? Levels off and fall within a month or two.

“As the pressure on the healthcare system eases, we can ease our restrictions. But we have to do so carefully to avoid starting a new wave again.”

“We must protect our healthcare system and workers at all costs to get out of the pandemic safely,” he said.

The emergence of the “highly contagious” Delta variant has put Singapore in a “changed position”, Lee said.

He said, “Even after our entire population is vaccinated, we are still not able to stamp it out through lockdown and SMM (Safe Management Measures). Almost every country has accepted this reality. “

He said the virus would spread “rapidly” again once the government eases measures, despite stringent safe management measures that have kept COVID-19 cases low.

While the war against COVID-19 continues, Singapore is “in a much better position now”, Lee said, calling for Singapore’s hospitals and healthcare workers to be protected and “the first line of defence”, by taking safe management measures. asked to follow. and cut back on social activities.

He urged people to get vaccinated and go for their booster shots, regularly self-test and for the infected to recover at home, unless they have a serious illness or a vulnerable family member.

“Please don’t rush to A&E (in hospitals) with mild symptoms. Let us reserve hospital capacity for those who need it most – severe COVID-19 cases as well others with diseases.”

“With everyone’s cooperation, we will put the pandemic behind us, hopefully soon. We have the resources, determination and courage to overcome this crisis. Let’s persevere and complete the journey of COVID-resilience.” Continue to work together for Lee said.

However, with a limit to how much the country can expand in terms of manpower, Singapore will have to moderate the rise in COVID-19 cases, he said.

As part of living with COVID-19, Singapore should also connect itself back to the world, he said, adding that the country should continue to safely reopen its borders.

Singapore on Friday began vaccination of travel lanes, along with Germany and Brunei, as well as South Korea.

“These pilot projects have shown that given the very few COVID-19 positive cases, it is possible for vaccinated individuals to travel safely.”

“We are implementing more such arrangements, especially with countries whose COVID-19 conditions are stable,” he said.

This, he said, will keep Singapore connected to global supply chains and help maintain the city-state’s hub status.

“Companies and investors need to do regional and global business out of Singapore, the people working for them need to travel to earn a living,” he said.

“Every time students need to go on attachments and internships abroad without SHN (Stay-Home Notice), family and friends will sometimes want to spend time together abroad,” he said.

Meanwhile, Singapore on Friday reported 3,590 infections, including 765 in migrant worker hostels, as well as six deaths.

As of Friday, Singapore has registered a total of 120,454 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and 142 deaths.

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