COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Extension: What Does This Mean for Singaporeans?
Singapore Now Has The Highest COVID-19 Cases in Southeast Asia
As of 21 April 2020 at 3pm, the national total of COVID-19 cases stands at 9,125. Singapore now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with the largest number of cases diagnosed at the dorms of migrant workers.
Considering that Hong Kong has extended its social distancing measures for another 14 days.
And our neighbour, Malaysia, has already extended its Movement Control Order once till 14 April and another time till 28 April.
The fact that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is addressing us again while we are only two weeks into our Circuit Breaker Period can only mean one thing…
Circuit Breaker to Extend till 1 June 2020
There will be an extension of Circuit Breaker from 4 May 2020 to 1 June 2020.
This is in hope of bringing down community numbers.
Update on COVID-19 Cases in Migrant Workers Dormitories
A large number of our daily COVID-19 cases in Singapore took place in the migrant worker dormitories.
Major dormitories at the moment, are supported by dedicated team of doctors and nurses.
We have also allocated more resources to ensure that the migrant workers are well taken care of. Medical teams are stationed at all 43 dormitories
Singapore’s stand is clear. We will care for our migrant works, just like we care for Singaporeans.
Given that Ramadan is round the corner, there are also arrangements made for Muslim workers to celebrate Adilftltri next month.
Update on Community Cases
The number of community cases has fallen recently due to initiatives by the Circuit Breaker.
Community cases now hover at about 30 a day.
The need to bring down the daily community cases is important.
At the moment, there are still unlinked cases which indicate that there is a larger hidden reservoir of COVID-19 cases. Singapore is currently looking at an average of 20 unlinked cases per day which is rather worrying.
How Can We Help?
The ultimate guideline of the Circuit Breaker is to reduce the number of diagnosed cases. Social distancing is still important.
While hotspots like popular wet markets make it hard to practice social distancing, here are some measures which we can take as a community:
- Impose entry restrictions to thin out the crowd
- Shop for your groceries on the weekday to avoid crowds
- Shop alone. Do not bring your whole family or in groups for groceries shopping.
- Practise more efficient running of errands. Get the job done and head back home!
Changes to Wet Markets and Supermarkets
There will be entry restrictions for wet markets and supermarkets.
Consumers will be given localised entry, depending on your NRIC/FIN numbers.
Closing of More Workplaces
In order to minimise the spread of COVID-19, more workplaces that are non-essential will have to stop. This includes less frequent grass cutting.
Reducing of Workforce from 20% to 15%
There will be a reduction of workforce from 20% to 15% across all sectors, including F&B.
This is to reduce the number of front-facing workers.
There will also be degradation of services or removing access to certain F&B services that we have become accustomed to.
With the recent suspension of McDonald suspension of all restaurant operations, Singaporeans should also be mentally prepared for the extension of this suspension.
To Exit From The Circuit Breaker
There are three things we need to do to exit the Circuit Breaker:
- Open up incrementally (making sure we are safe every step) This is what New Zealand and Germany are doing.
The last thing we want is what has happened in Hokkaido, where they open up too fast and found traces of COVID-19 again.
- Scaling up of COVID-19 testing substantially
We need to develop and manufacture our own test kits)
- Make full use of IT and apps for this purpose such as the Tracetogether app.
This is to allow better contact tracing of diagnosed cases. For the app to work, we need everyone to install and use them, there will be privacy concerns but have to weigh against fighting COVID-19.