Singapore moves back towards lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise, jeopardizing long-awaited travel bubble with Hong Kong

Singapore’s government has announced new curbs on socializing that sees the city-state move back towards lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases, both traced and untraceable, and the formation of several coronavirus clusters.

Speaking on Friday, Lawrence Wong, the minister for education who also co-chairs Singapore’s coronavirus taskforce, described the move as a setback in the fight against the virus. 

“A pattern of local unlinked community cases has emerged and is persisting,” the Health Ministry said in a statement on Friday. “We need to act decisively to contain these risks as any one leak could result in an uncontrolled resurgence of cases.” 

The new measures, which come into effect on Sunday and run until mid-June, limit social gatherings to two people (down from five) and prohibit restaurant dining. Working from home is also being encouraged unless it is impossible for the worker to do so. 

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Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the rising number of infections, and notably untraceable infections, means Singapore is unlikely to meet the requirements set to open a travel bubble with Hong Kong. It was hoped that the long-delayed bubble would be opened in late May.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry said that the registered number of Covid-19 infections in the community was 71 over the past week, up from 48 the week before. Most concerningly, the number of untraceable cases had jumped from 7 to 15 on the previous week. 

The country has frequently been touted as a ‘Covid haven’, having nearly eliminated the virus within its borders. Authorities have made good progress in inoculations too, compared to regional counterparts, having given at least one shot to 1.8 million of the country’s 5.7 million people. 

Singapore was one of 12 countries and territories to appear on the UK’s travel green list, published by the government last week.

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Source:RT World News

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