Easing of rules will see more Covid-19 cases, but healthcare system can bear burden, say task force ministers

Easing of rules will see more Covid-19 cases, but healthcare system can bear burden, say task force ministers

SINGAPORE – Singapore will see an uptick in Covid-19 cases now that restrictions have been eased, but its healthcare system is expected to be able to shoulder the burden.

At the same time, people should continue to exercise social responsibility, given how unpredictable the virus is, stressed two of the ministers leading the country’s pandemic response.

“If cases were to pick up again, our healthcare system will be able to accommodate them and we would not need to tighten up. That is our present assessment,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong told reporters on Friday (April 1).

“But as we all know, a lot of things can go wrong – you can make the best of predictions… but you will have curve balls thrown at you.”

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said: “When rules are eased, personal responsibility goes up.”

This means people have to take precautions, such as getting tested for Covid-19 before meeting vulnerable people, staying in isolation if one is unwell and not rushing to the emergency department unless it is necessary.

In their interview with reporters from four SPH Media Trust publications – The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian and Tamil Murasu – the ministers explained the Government’s decision to relax Singapore’s Covid-19 rules.

They also answered questions about the road ahead, including whether the country will roll back on current measures if infection numbers spike.

The Government would not have relaxed restrictions if it expects to tighten them again when cases go up, Mr Ong replied.

“Nobody likes to do the cha-cha – three steps forward, two steps back. We wouldn’t open up and take this decisive step if we thought we were going to step back.”

But it is also important to understand how Singapore got to its current position, Mr Ong said.

He compared the country’s ongoing battle with Covid-19 to weightlifting at the gym, noting that people may get muscle aches after lifting weights but also grow stronger over time.

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