Singapore – With the recent announcement of stricter measures amid a rise in community cases within Singapore, social media is abuzz with netizens going back to border controls, noting these might have prevented such a scenario.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Tuesday (May 4) that stricter measures will be put in place amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases within the community.
Social gatherings will be reduced from groups of eight people to five from May 8 to May 30. Similarly, households will be limited to five distinct visitors a day.
Furthermore, the public is also advised to follow a maximum of two social gatherings a day.
Other measures announced include indoor gyms and fitness studios closures and testing requirements for cinemas and worship services accommodating more than 100 attendees.
Capacity at attractions, libraries, tours and MICE (meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) events will also be reduced.
Such measures are a step back to Phase 2 of exiting the circuit breaker period, said co-chair of the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force, Lawrence Wong.
“This is not a circuit breaker. We certainly hope not to have to invoke another circuit breaker,” he said.
He also urged the public not to wait for May 8 but to start scaling back their activities as much as possible immediately.
Offices will also see a reduction in the number of employees allowed to return to the workplace. “Employers must ensure that no more than 50 per cent of employees who are able to work from home return to the workplace at any time,” said MOH in a media release.
Longer stay-home notice
Beginning May 8, all new travellers arriving from higher-risk countries or regions will be subject to 21-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities, said MOH.
“Within the community in the past week, we have identified 60 new cases.”
As of May 3, 2021, eight local cases with the B.1.351 (S. African) variant, seven local cases with the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant, seven local cases with B.1.617.2 (Indian) variant, three local cases with P1 (Brazilian) variant, three local cases with B.1.617.1 (Indian) variant, and one local case with B.1.525 (UK2) variant were reported.
Although many members from the online community noted that it was necessary to return to more stringent measures, others expressed displeasure at the turn of events.
“Not unexpected. People clearly saw and knew better,” said Facebook user Ricky Budyle. “Especially with reports like 53 on a flight to Hong Kong are infected, New Zealand airport worker got infected after cleaning a plane. Letting workers come from highly infected countries is dangerous. And even more so when the tests there cannot be trusted.”
Another frequent comment aired by netizens was not paying heed to the citizens. “We Singaporeans work hard and follow the SOP. But all go down to drain. We understand this virus can’t be controlled but at least listen to us, lah,” said one Ziz Arshad.
“All our efforts and sacrifices, down the drain. I’m sorry but can’t help feeling disappointed with the current situation,” aired Facebook user Azmi Achilles.
“We worked so hard to contain the virus for more than a year, but you open doors widely to welcome those people and their families from highly infected countries!” commented one Gina Tan. “And now, see what happened. I feel like (crying emoji).”
“We have to control who we let in through our borders,” added Facebook user David Firdaus. “We can adhere to all the requirements with no questions asked but if we freely let travellers enter Singapore particularly from high risk countries, all of our efforts will come to nothing and this cycle will repeat itself over and over again with no end in sight.”/TISG
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