SINGAPORE: With a falling number of community cases, Singapore is in a position to start the gradual easing of “circuit breaker” measures, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced on Saturday (May 2).
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong noted that with stricter circuit breaker measures in place for about two weeks, the number of new cases in the community has been on the decline.
READ: COVID-19 circuit breaker extended until Jun 1 as Singapore aims to bring down community cases ‘decisively’: PM Lee
He said that some businesses will resume operations from May 12, with a gradual resumption of selected activities and services over a few weeks.
Home-based businesses, selected food retail outlets, and food manufacturing firms will be among those that will be able to resume operations from May 12, co-chair of the task force Minister Lawrence Wong said at the press conference.
Mr Wong added the authorities will start to bring back students in small groups or face to face lessons in May, focusing on cohorts who are taking national exams and are graduating.
“It’s a small group, and we will do it with safe-distancing measures,” he said.
In the meantime, registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners will be able to resume their acupuncture services and retail services on May 5. This was based on a comprehensive review, Mr Gan said.
However, Mr Gan cautioned that “we are not out of the woods yet”.
“New clusters can form if we let our guards down. We must press on with our efforts, so that we continue to keep the numbers low,” he said.
The rest of the circuit breaker measures continue to be crucial, and will remain in force till Jun 1, he added.
The Government will be able to further roll back some of the circuit breaker measures if the situation is “clearly under control” till Jun 1, he added.
“Even then, it will be a new normal we all have to adapt to,” he said.
Singapore’s economy will open up “step by step” when the number of COVID-19 cases in the community falls, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday in his May Day message.
Singapore is into its fourth week of a “circuit breaker” period to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Safe distancing measures have been tightened and the circuit breaker extended by another four weeks to Jun 1.
Published at Sat, 02 May 2020 04:10:44 +0000