S’pore’s high vaccination rate & high-trust society key to combat Omicron wave

23/02/2022

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said although infections are at an all-time high the situation in ICU remains under control due to our very high vaccination rate and boosters.

He added that Singapore is quietly confident in dealing with Omicron wave and should be able to ease restrictions after the peak.

Also the co-chair of Singapore’s Covid-19 Multi-ministry Task Force, Minister Wong was speaking to CNBC’s Martin Soong on Monday (Feb 21) in a TV interview that touched on the recent Budget announcement and the Covid-19 situation in Singapore.

Singapore reported 26,032 new Covid-19 cases as of 12pm on Feb 22.

“Because of our very high vaccination rate and boosters, the vast majority of infected persons have milder symptoms. So they do not need oxygen and ICU care. In fact, the situation with our hospitals, with regard to ICU and oxygen wards, is under control. So if this situation continues like that, we believe that we should be able to take some decisive steps towards easing once we have passed this present peak of the Omicron wave”, he said.

Minister Wong added that the new variant – BA.2 – has not reached Singapore yet though he is confident that Singapore is prepared for it.

“The strategy is still vaccinations, boosters, and therapeutics as well. I think the strategies remain sound and we have a clear path towards getting back to life as normal,” he said.

A high trust society

As it stands currently, 94 per cent of the eligible population has completed the two doses and 66 per cent has received the booster shot.

Our vaccination rate – one of the highest in the world – ensures Singapore remains connected to the world with the multiple Vaccinated Travel Lanes and is critical to combating Covid-19.

Indeed, our agile and practical approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented massive deaths.

Our route toward endemicity is not a straightforward one but with high trust between the PAP government and the people helps create policies to save lives.

It is the same reservoir of trust that allowed the PAP government to implement measures against Covid-19 and keep Singapore running no matter what. It is this “high trust” society, as PM Lee put it during the Party Convention last year, that made people trust that there will be proper medical treatment; workers and businesses will be taken care of; supermarkets will be stocked; essential services will not be disrupted.

“Singaporeans have this confidence because for 60 years now, we have consistently good PAP government. They know the PAP will never give up in a crisis, we won’t buckle, and we will always have your back,” PM Lee added.

Cover photo credit: Christian Chen on Unsplash