Singapore is Not Expected to Exit Phase 3 “Anytime Soon”
Singapore has made significant progress in the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccination, with about 250,000 people who have received their first jab. However, that doesn’t mean the country is set to move out of Phase 3 in the near future.
Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament on Thursday that Singapore is unlikely to move out of Phase 3 anytime soon due to the Covid-19 situation around the world as well as within the country.
He added that Singapore government will continue to find ways to allow the economy and society to further reopen in a safe way.
His comments were made in response to a question by Member of Parliament Yip Hon Weng, who had asked about the criteria that must be met in order for Phase 3 restrictions to be lifted.
The country moved into Phase 3 of its reopening on December 28, 2020. After a number of pre-conditions were met, the Government’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce allowed for the lifting of restrictions and resumption of activities such as social gatherings in groups of no more than eight.
Back in October 2020, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had reminded the public that Phase 3 “is a milestone” but “it will not be a return to normal”. A month later, the co-chair of the Task Force added that Phase 3 could last for a year or more.
It was announced yesterday (February 23) that China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine had arrived in Singapore, although it is not yet approved for use. To date, Singapore has authorised two Covid-19 vaccines for use, namely Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Singapore will roll out vaccinations to more groups of people, after starting with healthcare workers in December 2020. Covid-19 vaccination for seniors aged 70 and above began on February 23, while those aged between 60 and 69 will start from end-March.
Read more about the vaccination process in the perspective of a frontline worker in Singapore here.