Forum: Don't subject economy to repeated Covid-19 curbs

I thank Straits Times senior health correspondent Salma Khalik for voicing publicly many of the questions that some of us have been raising privately concerning the Government's response to the developing Covid-19 situation, given the actual data being put out daily by the Ministry of Health (Nuanced approach to rising infections better than blanket curbs, July 25).

It seems that while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 talk of pivoting to dealing with the disease as a relatively low-level public health challenge more akin to seasonal influenza, the current measures are more in keeping with pursuing the objective of zero Covid-19.

As in all aspects of life, zero risk is an unattainable dream, and we all have to live with what society deems to be an acceptable level of risk, be it the number of influenza deaths or the number of deaths from road accidents each year.

Yes, the Government does need to have contingency measures (along with appropriate threshold levels to determine when they are needed) in place to deal with potential changes in the threat to public health from new variants.

But the Government cannot subject society and the country's economy to the crude, one-size-fits-all approach of repeated societal restrictions on the route back to normality.

Brian Dalby

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