COVID-19 SPECIAL

Coronavirus: Community cases in Singapore and risk of resurgence

People are seen at Junction 8 mall in Bishan on June 22, 2020.
People are seen at Junction 8 mall in Bishan on June 22, 2020.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Q&A

Q: The number of community cases in Singapore looks manageable. Does this mean it is safe to socialise more?

PROFESSOR TEO YIK YING: The situation in the community does look promising these days, but I think it's important to remember all the pains that we, the people, the country, had to go through to get here.

It all comes down to how often we participate in risk-taking adventures and whether we are working within a sphere where we are fairly confident that it's going to be fairly safe.

For example, I meet my parents for a meal perhaps once a fortnight. I don't think that is a high-risk activity, but would I do that while at the same time meet many different groups of different friends? Every time you interact with more people, you can think of it as slowly adding up your risks.

Q: Many countries are reporting a resurgence in Covid-19 cases. Are we likely to have a second wave in Singapore?

PROF TEO: We will work very, very hard to avoid a second wave. We may have 10, 20 community cases every day, but most of our activities can resume because the risk that we pose to one another will be kept to a minimum if we follow the three rules we always talk about - mask wearing, personal hygiene, social distancing.

Singapore is equally susceptible to a second wave if people start to be a little bit 'cowboy' in their behaviour and take risks unnecessarily. If there are a lot more gatherings of 10, 20 people at homes, for parties, for meals, that increases the risk.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2020, with the headline 'Community cases in Singapore and risk of resurgence'. Print Edition | Subscribe