With the number of unlinked cases in the community increasing from nine cases two weeks ago to 49 in the past week (Two pre-school teachers, hospital employee among 34 new local cases, May 20), I strongly urge the authorities to consider implementing Australia- and New Zealand-style rapid circuit breakers, where the country goes into an immediate lockdown once unlinked cases are identified.
As seen in Australia and New Zealand, these measures were effective in controlling the spread of the coronavirus in the community. This will help in ring-fencing the number of cases in our high-density society.
While these circuit breakers will have economic and social consequences, it is better to have short-term pain rather than dragged-out regulations that stretch and stress businesses and society.
Moreover, the regulations in the latest phase two (heightened alert) have already affected most retail businesses due to decreased footfall. Thus, an immediate circuit breaker is unlikely to do much more damage.
The current measures may not be stringent enough to prevent community spread, since people can still gather in pairs.
Toh Jia Ze