Singapore — After Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced the country’s return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) with tightened restrictions to prevent a further spread of Covid-19 infections, netizens flocked to his Facebook account to ask for various considerations and concessions.
“The Covid situation has taken a sharp turn for the worse,” wrote Mr Wong in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening (Jul 20), who co-chairs the Multi-Ministry Task Force tasked to deal with the pandemic, and who has been the public face of the government’s response to the crisis since last year.
Mr Wong highlighted not only the infection cluster at KTV lounges, but also the newly-emerged cluster at the Jurong Fishery Port, whose extent is still unfolding.
More infections are still expected to emerge, and the Minister expressed concern for Singapore’s unvaccinated seniors, who are vulnerable to severe Covid.
Thus, the need to return to Phase 2, “to scale back overall activity levels in the community and slow down the transmission,” Mr Wong wrote, and would also buy time for more seniors to get vaccinated.
Mr Wong wrote that he was aware the return to tighter measures would not sit well with many in the business sector. He underlined that it had been a hard decision to make, but “we could not afford to take the risk of the virus infecting our unvaccinated seniors.”
However, he did promise that the government would provide a support package to affected businesses, which will be announced later on.
Concerned and unhappy netizens from all sectors and walks of life flocked to Mr Wong’s post with specific requests for the issues they were bringing up.
The word “please” stood out in many of the comments.
One wrote, “Please consider service providers who are rendering services to the affected business,” in the context of providing support for affected sectors.
Another netizen chimed in, “please enforce landlords to give full rental waivers to Hawkers, F&B operators and Food industry suppliers.”
A few commenters touched on the need for Home-Based Learning (HBL) at this time.
“Please do consider having HBL,” one wrote. “Please protect our kids and let them have HBL immediately,” wrote another.
“Please do your best to help SMEs and individuals,” appealed another.
One netizen asked for mandatory vaccinations for Singaporeans. “Please consider to legislate mandatory vaccinations or introduce strong restrictions on the unwilling unvaccinated so that we can get our lives back.”
Another netizen asked the minister to look into hawker stall owners who are unvaccinated but are still handling food. “Please look at coffee shop stall.”
A commenter requested: “Please do not allow pubs or KTV to operate as F&B anymore.”
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