International COVID 19 Ho Ching: Our people, not visitors, are driving Covid-19 infection numbers up

Ho Ching: Our people, not visitors, are driving Covid-19 infection numbers up

“We are keeping the virus going by meeting and having social interactions with each other with masks down.”

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Singapore — According to Mdm Ho Ching, who has been following the trajectory of Covid-19 cases in the country, the reason for the rising number of infections is locals and not those visitors.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 8), she noted with concern that as the numbers of daily infections continue to rise, “this could be the start of an explosion that would seep into many homes with old folks who are yet to be vaccinated.”

Mdm Ho, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and chief executive officer of Temasek Holdings, wrote that the main driver of community infections are not imported cases, however.

“These are our people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, not some visitor coming in,” she wrote.

The large majority of visitors to Singapore are required to quarantine by serving Stay-Home Notices and are tested repeatedly before being allowed into the community.

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And the small number of visitors that do not have to quarantine are subjected to strict safe management measures, she added. 

Mdm Ho even mentioned a recent high profile visit.

“Vice President Kamala Harris came into Sg and met people based on the above arrangement including both Sg and USa (sic) delegation pre-testing before mtgs.

So the so-called imported cases are not the main driver of our current community cases.

The numbers are driven by us, people living within our community.”

Mdm Ho noted that daily unlinked numbers have grown to over one hundred daily, but that the current R0 in Singapore, an indicator of how contagious an infectious disease is, is at 1.45. 

The highly transmissible Delta variant’s R0 is closer to 8, she added.

 The 1.45 rate “from a combination of measures including higher vaccination coverage, is not bad,” wrote Mdm Ho, but warned that the situation could worsen.

She quoted a friend who had said, “We are moving increasingly towards opening up, but may need to tap on the brakes on occasion.”

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Mdm Ho also wrote that people meeting together are part of the problem.

“We are keeping the virus going by meeting and having social interactions with each other with masks down.”

She added that since the country is not yet completely vaccinated, “the overall effectiveness of community vaccination shield is lower,” and warned that the vaccine is less than 80 per cent effective against the Delta variant for older and immunocompromised people, but that booster shots will address this.

“This 3rd shot booster will start, even as we continue to persuade and organise for more unvaccinated old folks to be vaccinated.”

Mdm Ho again appealed for older people to be vaccinated. “Please continue to work on our seniors to be vaccinated if they have not yet done so.”

She likened the current situation to “a dance we are having, as part of learning how to live with the virus,” and told everyone to “Keep well – and remember any one of us can be that unknown and unknowing community node.
So don’t play play.” /TISG
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Read also: Unlinked Covid-19 cases are still relevant: Ho Ching contradicts MOH decision

Unlinked Covid-19 cases are still relevant: Ho Ching contradicts MOH decision

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