New Delhi: A new wave of Covid-19 is sweeping Singapore with the number of weekly infections so far this year peaking in the final week of March at over 28,000 cases. The current wave is reportedly driven by a mix of coronavirus’ XBB subvariants. The cases, however, are mostly said to be mild.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Singapore has reported 22,98,689 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,722 deaths since the pandemic broke out.
In February this year, Singapore dropped the requirement for travelers who are not fully vaccinated to show Covid-19 test results or purchase coronavirus travel insurance.
The country’s health ministry had also announced that masks will not be required to be worn on public transport. The authorities had lowered the disease outbreak response level to ‘green’ from ‘yellow’, indicating that Covid-19 is not threatening anymore.
Since April last year, Singapore had lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions with many international events returning to the city-state, attracting tourists and businesses.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said last week that they recorded over 2.9 million arrivals in the first three months of this year.
Indian residents were the fourth largest source of tourist arrivals in the first quarter after Indonesians (5,23,300), Malaysians (2,78,910), and Australians (2,65,730). Americans made up the fifth largest group of visitors by country of origin at 1,68,960.
Earlier last month, the Singapore government’s review of its pandemic response said it could have better managed the outbreak of the disease in crowded dormitories housing foreign workers, border measures and contact tracing, and the transition to endemic Covid-19.
These were among the conclusions of a White Paper on the government’s review of its pandemic response published by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said Covid-19 has been ‘a very complex and wicked problem on a grand scale’, requiring the government to operate in the ‘fog of war’.
“We made our best judgment at that time, but of course, with the benefit of hindsight and what we know today, we probably could have handled certain situations differently,” he said.