Singapore imposes fresh lockdown to check Covid-19 surge

Bangkok, May 15 (EFE).- Singapore, so far hailed as one of the most successful countries in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, has announced fresh lockdown measures from Monday to check a surge in new coronavirus cases.

As per the new rules, meetings of more than two people have been banned, dine-in facility at restaurants has been closed and work from home has been recommended for most citizens, as per a health ministry statement released on Friday evening.

The government imposed the restrictions, set to last until June 13, after a number of Covid outbreaks linked to community spread – some with no traceable origin – appeared in a country which had been touted by some media outlets as the “best place in the world” to live in during the pandemic.

“Please stay at home as far as possible, go out only for essential tasks, and follow government advisories. If you do go out, remember to practice safe distancing measures,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appealed to citizens in a Facebook post.

Singapore authorities imposed the lockdown measures after months of almost normal living conditions except for the nearly 300,000 migrant workers, a community which has accounted for 90 percent of the total infections since the beginning of the pandemic.

Borders have remained closed for tourists and the quarantine period for residents returning to the country has been increased to 21 days from the earlier 15.

Currently the largest outbreak in the city-state, consisting of 46 cases, has been linked to the Changi airport, but at least 10 other active clusters have been registered.

The total number of Covid cases recorded in the country so far stands at 61,505, including 31 deaths.

Authorities have vaccinated more than 30 percent of the around 5.6 million residents of the country, but the rate of inoculation has fallen below expectations due to delays in supply.

The coronavirus situation in Singapore can jeopardize its plans to host international events later this year, such as the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, the Shangri La Dialogue and the World Economic Forum. EFE


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