A country that has been one of the world’s most successful at combating Covid-19 has announced it will soon fundamentally change how it manages the pandemic.
The city state of Singapore has stated Covid will be treated like other endemic diseases such as flu.
There will be no goals of zero transmission. Quarantine will be dumped for travellers and close contacts of cases will not have to isolate. It also plans to no longer announce daily case numbers.
But people may need to take tests to head to the shops or go to work.
Senior Singaporean ministers have said it is the “new normal” of “living with Covid”.
“The bad news is that Covid-19 may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst,” wrote Singapore’s Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in an editorial in the Straits Times this week.
“It means that the virus will continue to mutate, and thereby survive in our community.”
Singapore never got to zero
Like most countries, Singapore had an initial peak of cases last year, topping out at 600 a day in mid-April. Following a smaller wave in August, Covid-19 hasn’t flared up since.
However, the nation of 5.7 million, slightly larger than Sydney, has had a steady undercurrent