Opening Remarks by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Press Conference by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce

Opening Remarks by Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Press Conference by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce

1. Good afternoon. Last week, we announced a “Stabilisation Phase” to slow the rise in cases so that we can scale up our support for home recovery and our healthcare facilities.  The effects of these measures will take time to materialise.


2. Meanwhile, over the last week, we have set up COVID-19 Treatment Facilities (CTFs). We will be adding more CTF capacity in the next few weeks.  We have also made progress on the Home Recovery Programme, with over 50% of infected now recovering at home instead of the hospitals.  Minister Ong will give more details later.


3. The daily number of cases has continued to rise.


· Based on the current trajectory, cases in the community are now doubling about every 10 days.


· Depending on how the trajectory will develop, we may start to see the number of daily infections rise to more than 5,000 next week.


· The vast majority, however, will be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, and can recover safely at home. Dr Tan will give an update on the dorm situation later.


4. Therefore, it is important that we continue to optimise our healthcare resources and preserve our hospital beds for those who truly need them.


5. At the same time, all of us can help by reducing our social activities.


· Many of you I know have already done so and I want to thank you for your efforts.


· Families with seniors should take extra precautions to protect them. To our seniors, I understand some of you do need to go out and get some sun and fresh air.  Please protect yourself when you do so.  Remember to wear your masks, avoid crowded places, and keep to safe management measures (SMMs).


· And if you know of any seniors who have not been vaccinated, please encourage them to do so as soon as possible.


· Let me say a few words in Mandarin


· 这段期间,病例不断上升。 如果家里有年长人士,希望你们能够更加谨慎,以便多保护他们。


· Uncle, auntie 们,如果你们真的需要出门, 做点晨运,呼吸点新鲜空气,要记得戴口罩,避开人多的地方,保持安全距离。


6. We continue to review our border measures, and we will be making updates on three fronts:


· First, we will align our border measures with our domestic health protocols. We will shorten the SHN duration for travellers who currently need to serve a 14-day SHN, to 10 days instead. This is aligned to the duration served by persons under quarantine (PUQs) here domestically.


· Second, we will update the classification of some countries and regions to take into account the evolving situation in these places. Details are provided in the press release.


· Third, we will make vaccination an entry requirement for all Work Pass and Student’s Pass holders, so that we can minimise the risk to public health while allowing such workers and students to enter in a safe and calibrated manner.


7. Our booster programme has delivered booster shots to almost 237,000 seniors now.  Given the increase in infections, we want to ensure that those who work in higher risk settings can continue to enjoy high levels of protection against infection. Therefore, the Expert Committee on COVID-19 (EC19V) is deliberating on expanding the booster programme to include our healthcare and frontline workers, and persons in other vulnerable settings. More details will be announced when ready.


8. This has been a difficult time for all of us. Singapore remains committed to our journey towards COVID resilience, and we are using this time to put in place the necessary support systems and adjust our public health protocols to respond to the evolving situation. I hope for your understanding and support as we work towards COVID-19 resilience together. Thank you.

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