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PM Lee Hsien Loong to address nation on Singapores plans to keep Covid-19 under control on Monday, 4pm


SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will address Singaporeans on the countrys approach to tackling Covid-19 in a broadcast on Monday (May 31) at 4pm.

Mr Lee announced his address in a Facebook post on Sunday.

"The number of new community cases has stabilised over the last two weeks. Our tightened measures to keep Singaporeans safe are working. Thank you for staying home and complying with the guidelines," he said.

"Tomorrow, I intend to share with you how we plan to keep Covid-19 under control, while progressively opening up again. The solution: testing, contact tracing, and vaccinating, all faster, and more. Also: What will the new normal be like?"

Watch his speech live on The Straits Times' website, Facebook page and YouTube page. It will also be available on Mr Lee's Facebook page or on Mediacorp channels.

Mr Lee's post comes amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, which has since stabilised.

The rise in cases saw Singapore impose its strictest curbs on social gatherings and public activities since last year’s circuit breaker period.

Dining in at restaurants and hawker centres is no longer allowed and gatherings have to be limited to two people, among other measures in place under the current phase two (heightened alert).

Employers are also required to make working from home a default arrangement.

The restrictions, in place since May 16, will be in force until at least June 13.

This period of heightened alert was sparked by a growing peak of infections that have been fuelled partly by more contagious variants of the coronavirus.

Before the recent spike, Singapore recorded few to no locally transmitted Covid-19 infections for months.

But cases started to rise in late April, with rapidly growing clusters emerging in places such as Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Changi Airport, underlining how easily the virus can resurge.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported 25 new Covid-19 cases, comprising 19 which were locally transmitted and six which were imported. Of the local community cases, six are currently not linked to previous cases.

This takes Singapore's all-time total Covid-19 tally to 62,028.

The worsening of the Covid-19 situation came as Singapore was gearing up to open up its economy even more and host events such as the yearly Shangri-La Dialogue defence and security summit in June and the World Economic Forum in August. Both events have since been cancelled.

Singapore has also withdrawn as host of two AFC Cup group football games, and a travel bubble with Hong Kong has been postponed.

Last Friday, the Government announced an $800 million package of support measures to help companies and individuals tide over this period, including enhanced wage subsidies under the Jobs Support Scheme and rental relief.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said, in announcing the support measures, that the recent restrictions have had an effect in controlling the spread of the virus, and that he did not expect new restrictions to be introduced.

Published : May 31, 2021

By : Tham Yuen-C/The Straits Times/ANN