Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Setback for Singapore’s reopening plan as daily cases jump to record high

The government says it is reverting to Phase Two with a month-long ban on dining in and social gatherings.

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Singapore today said it was scaling back on the easing of restrictions for social gatherings to arrest a recent spike in Covid-19 cases, including a record high of 182 cases reported in the past 24 hours.

This includes a four-week ban on dining in at eateries from July 22, as well as a drop in the limit of participants of social gatherings from five to two.

Of the 182 locally transmitted cases reported in the city-state today, 135 were linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster.

Health authorities also said infections were detected at 28 markets and food centres.

“This is very concerning, as it can affect many people in our community all over the island,” the health ministry said.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the latest move to revert to Phase Two or the “heightened alert” stage would allow the nation time to reach its target of vaccinating two-thirds of the population by Aug 9, its national day.

He said once the target is achieved, the city could remain open even if new daily cases hover between 100 and 200.

“Therefore, now is really not the time to risk it all. So we need to bite this bullet, dial back on social activities, and use this time to push through the vaccination efforts,” The Straits Times quoted Ong as saying.

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