The Straits Times says

Dealing with, not fearing, Covid-19

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's address to the nation last Saturday gave a reasoned account of a strategy of living with the coronavirus pandemic, with a "new normal" expected to lie between three and six months away. This strategy is founded on the recognition of the difficulty of eradicating the Delta variant and the need to inject a degree of sustained predictability into the flow of economic and social life in Singapore in the meantime. Health protocols are being simplified domestically. Internationally, Singapore is taking steps to carefully restore travel links with others via vaccinated travel lanes, and began with Germany and Brunei. South Korea, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States are next. It is not tenable for a trade and economic hub like Singapore to be shut off from much of the world indefinitely.

Singapore's transition from its original "zero-Covid" strategy places these moves in perspective. That approach made sense when the population was not yet vaccinated and the consequences of falling ill were deadly serious. Hence, safe management and other measures were an appropriate response to stem the chain of transmission even as steps were taken to secure vaccines and to learn more about this virus. The situation changed significantly with the appearance of the highly infectious Delta variant and the ease with which it could spread. Lockdowns and safe management measures, helpful as they are, were not a fail-safe way to stamp it out.

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