The Straits Times says

Avoiding another circuit breaker

That the Covid-19 situation here has taken a more concerning turn is clear from the stringency of yesterday's string of announcements, including that people will be allowed to gather only in groups of five, down from eight now. The restrictions also apply to households, which will be able to receive only five distinct visitors daily. More employees will be required to work from home. Higher-risk settings such as gyms will be shut, size limits on events will be tightened, and congregational services, weddings, funerals, sporting events and live performances will be affected.

These revised rules on gatherings, which will start from Saturday to May 30, follow measures last week to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. As the number of community cases rises and the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster grows, the Health Ministry has asked all hospitals to defer non-urgent operations and admissions for now so as to conserve resources across the healthcare sector. Non-urgent specialist outpatient clinic appointments, too, will be postponed. But no hospital will deny medical care to patients who need it. However, the deferment of non-urgent operations and admissions signals the seriousness with which the authorities are taking the evolving pandemic situation globally and Singapore's vulnerability, particularly to new and more virulent strains. Global developments remain extremely worrying, with several countries experiencing a resurgence of cases and the emergence of new variants that are more infectious and which have been found here as well.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'Avoiding another circuit breaker'. Subscribe