Singapore says vaccines not enough to deal with coronavirus

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Astrazeneca Covid Doses
Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine

Despite being one of the world’s most-vaccinated nations, with one of the lowest pandemic death tolls, Singapore “cannot solely rely” on jabs to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

The warning, which Leo gave in an interview with The Straits Times, a local newspaper, came as the Health Ministry warned of an “exponential” rise in virus case numbers driven by the Delta variant.

Around 80 per cent of Singaporeans have been given two doses of vaccine, according to the Health Ministry, which says the city-state is in a “preparatory stage of transition to endemic Covid-19.” The local pandemic death toll is 55.

The government had earlier pledged to move to a model of restrictions based not on counting new cases, but on numbers of people requiring treatment for serious virus-related illness.

However ministers are still on the alert for rising case numbers, though Singapore has so far not been hit by the kind of surges seen in other Asian nations in recent months.

“Currently, the R [reproduction number] is more than one,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who heads the government’s pandemic response agency, said on Monday, as the government said it would slow the easing of restrictions.

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