Singapore – Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, said that there is no “magic solution” to curbing the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore and explained that all measures being implemented are for the long haul.
Mr Wong, who is also the co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce established to address the virus, said during a press conference on Tuesday (March 31) that imposing drastic measures such as a lockdown, would not “eradicate the virus.”
According to a channelnewsasia.com report, he was asked why the Government has not resorted to movement control measures like what is being done in Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries. “Why don’t you just…don’t have to wait, just go for the drastic measures now. Go for the so-called lockdown today do it for two weeks, and then life can go back to normal,” repeated Mr Wong.
“I have to clarify that there is no such magic solution as a two-week lockdown and then we are free from the virus,” Mr Wong admitted. “It will not happen,” he added. The minister illustrated that drastic measures, even if implemented sooner, “will not eradicate the virus. It will still be with us.”
He noted that the current strategies are for the long-term because of the possibility that the pandemic will last until the end of the year. “We still have to continue with these set of measures that we have today for many months,” said Mr Wong.
Mr Wong announced that the country has to be prepared in dealing with the crisis for “quite a long period of time” and to expect increased exposure to recurring waves of infection from around the world. “The local transmission within Singapore will continue,” he added.
“And so we have to find measures that can control, slow down the virus and do so in a way that’s sustainable, not just for two weeks, two months but all the way through the end of the year,” said the minister.
Members of the public were quick to express their opinions on the “magic solution” which Mr Wong hinted would prove futile.
“I think a lockdown is not a magic solution, but it helps to tell the people that it is SERIOUS,” commented Peggun Leung who has witnessed people still treating the situation lightly. Others pointed out that a lockdown would not wipe out the virus but it will “act as a circuit breaker and likely provide a reprieve to the healthcare infrastructure and staff.”
Meanwhile, Roland Tan noted that it might be too late to impose strict movement control measures due to increasing un-linked cases within the country.
Mcgyver Rybatt commented from the perspective of the Government and agreed that a lockdown would be “very damaging to the economy.” He added that social responsibility is the most crucial safety precaution to be practiced. Another netizen shared that there are still “selfish people out there ignoring safe distancing measures” despite the advisories and physical markings in public establishments.
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