Changes to Covid-19 rules will buy S'pore time to roll out booster shots, vaccinate more people: PM Lee

The measures are meant to protect the capacity of Singapore’s healthcare system, and give more time to deliver boosters and vaccinations, said PM Lee. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Tighter Covid-19 restrictions will give the Government more time to deliver booster shots and vaccinate those still not vaccinated, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post on Friday night (Sept 24).

"Meanwhile, we are also expanding our hospital capacity. This will ensure that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed and can continue to take good care of all those who need medical care, whether for Covid-19 or other conditions," he said.

From next Monday, people will be allowed to gather only in groups of two, as part of tightened restrictions to slow the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases.

These measures will last a month and will be reviewed in two weeks and adjusted, depending on the community situation.

The move follows a sharp spike in cases here, with the number of cases rising to more than 1,000 three days in a row this week.

The new measures, PM Lee said, are meant to protect the capacity of Singapore's healthcare system.

In tandem, operations to support fully vaccinated Covid-19 patients recovering at home are being ramped up.

To cope with the new restrictions - which include reducing the number allowed to dine out to two, from five - affected businesses will also receive support, said PM Lee.

Meanwhile, more patients are being placed in new community treatment facilities to free up hospital beds for more serious cases.

These facilities will provide closer monitoring and management of stable patients with co-morbidities (the presence of two or more medical conditions) and who are otherwise asymptomatic or have no symptoms.

The first patients arrived at Singapore's first community treatment facility in Tampines on Thursday.

"We have to adapt our response to Covid-19 as the pandemic develops," PM Lee said.

"I know the changes can be confusing and unsettling, but please bear with us," he added.

"We will work closely with you to protect all our families."

Read next - Dining in capped at 2, WFH the default: Covid-19 rules from Sept 27

Correction note: This article has been updated to include clarification from MOH that it will first review the community situation in two weeks.

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