Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Tuesday (Feb 25) that there is a possibility that Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level will be lowered.
According to Channel News Asia, in a recent press conference, Mr Gan addressed a question regarding the possibility of authorities lowering the DORSCON level, which was raised to orange on Feb 7. Though precautionary measures were taken amid the threat of the Covid-19 outbreak, Singapore’s number of confirmed cases still went up. Thus the Government implemented stricter counter-measures such as tightening the travel ban, mandating a leave-of-absence (LOA) rule, and even intensifying the disciplinary actions served to those caught in violation of the rules.
In the conference, Mr Gan said, “If it has become quite a widespread community transmission all over the world, and a lot of these border control measures may no longer be useful, we may begin to remove some of these border controls if it becomes apparent that every country is going to have transmission.” He also explained that the situation Singapore is currently in is not one which the Government can treat as a “checklist where we tick off everything.”
Instead, Mr Gan said that the “judgment call” would be based on the different factors from multiple sectors. “It’s not possible for us to isolate Singapore from the rest of the world,” he said. “It’s not just the economies part – human-to-human interaction, country-to-country interaction (make it) not possible.”
According to Today Online, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong was at the same press conference as Mr Gan. Mr Wong said that Singapore would have to take into consideration the effect Covid-19 will have on other countries and how those countries will handle the outbreak. “If it is not contained well in other countries, including in countries where the health systems may not be of the same standard as what you see in developed countries…you may well start to see sustained widespread transmission of the virus around the world,” he explained.
Though he stressed that Singapore “cannot afford to be complacent,” he also asked the question “(C)an we afford to shut ourselves out from the world?” Mr Wong also said that Singapore would do well to prepare for more imported cases “(i)f the virus truly transmits everywhere in the world.”
“DORSCON is a reference for us to work out our plans, actions and various measures,” he said. “Similarly, as we move forward, we may adjust some of our measures downwards, some of the restrictions we have put in place, we may decide to lift them if the situation is more stable.”
Mr Wong called on Singaporeans to “continue be(ing) alert, but at the same time stay calm and continue to carry on with (their) lives.”
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