The Straits Times says

Targeted steps to ride out infection waves

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Measures announced yesterday to deal with the current trajectory of infections stem from a need to slow the exponential rise in cases, prevent the spike in infections from overwhelming the healthcare system, in particular, and gain time to scale-up home recovery and home care services. The tightened restrictions mean people will be allowed to gather only in groups of two. Most eateries will be able to take in only two fully vaccinated diners per group, but there are no changes to rules for hawker centres and coffee shops. Work-from-home will be the default for the coming month. Combined with these steps, the home recovery programme and community treatment facilities remain key components of a strategy to prevent cases from overwhelming hospitals in general and intensive care units in particular.

The extent of the challenge is considerable. The country reported 1,500 new cases on Thursday, but the number could double to 3,200 by next week if the current trend continues. Indeed, Singapore is activating its plans to be able to deal with 5,000 cases a day should it come to that level. Under the circumstances, Singaporeans by and large should understand and accept the latest measures even if they might disappoint those who hoped for an easing given the high vaccination rates here. The latest measures are incremental: They do not come close to being a punitive lockdown. Given the current stage of the pandemic and state of economic activity, this is a targeted approach. What matters is the ability to recalibrate measures quickly so the healthcare system remains resilient and has resources and the human capacity - the already overworked healthcare workers - to stay in the fight against Covid-19 and its Delta variant.

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