Total lockdown an option as Covid cases spike in Singapore


Southeast Asia reported 75,832 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, lower than Thursday’s 80,238. There were 1,390 fatalities, almost on par with the previous day’s 1,388.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the region crossed 10.83 million and the death toll rose to 240,284.

Singapore reported 573 new cases and one death on Friday, bringing cumulative cases in the country to 70,612 with 58 deaths. The government said the infection rate been climbing again due to the spread of the delta variant of the virus, which may hinder the country’s plan of "living with Covid-19". It added that more intense testing and social distancing measures will be employed, while total lockdown measures will remain a possibility if the situation escalates.

Meanwhile Vietnam plans to reopen the beach-fringed island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists from next month, as the country looks at ways to revive an economy suffering from extended lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fully vaccinated tourists with a negative coronavirus test will be eligible to visit Phu Quoc either on chartered or commercial flights. Foreign arrivals to Vietnam slumped from 18 million in 2019, when tourism revenue was $31 billion or nearly 12 per cent of gross domestic product, to 3.8 million visitors last year.