The Straits Times says

A strategic regrouping to opening up

Many Singaporeans will be sorely disappointed that anti-Covid-19 measures have been tightened again as the country reverts to phase two (heightened alert) to stem the recent spike in community cases. Dining in will not be allowed till Aug 18, maximum group sizes for social gatherings will be reduced from five to two, and the number of distinct visitors per household per day will also be capped at two, down from the current five. The development is a lesson in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. In battles, a temporary setback on one front, no matter how large it looms on the minds, provides an opportunity to step back, regroup, rethink strategies, and re-enter the battle with renewed focus and energy.

The current resurgence in Covid-19 cases stems from an alarming rise in community cases generated by major clusters at a number of KTV lounges, Jurong Fishery Port and wet markets. The latest tightening is aimed in part at buying time to reach the target of having two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated by National Day. When that target is reached, there will be greater confidence that the country can stay safe while moving decidedly to open up. Progress towards that goal is good. For the past weeks, Singapore has vaccinated up to 80,000 people a day. Demand has flipped towards second doses, which now account for about 70 per cent of all doses.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2021, with the headline 'A strategic regrouping to opening up'. Subscribe