‘A neverending nightmare’: Singapore gets COVID whiplash as situation goes ‘backwards’

An officer disinfecting the Jurong Fishery Port. Photo: Grace Fu/Facebook
An officer disinfecting the Jurong Fishery Port. Photo: Grace Fu/Facebook

Singapore’s pandemic yo-yo continues this week with record highs and rigid restrictions leaving residents in anguish. 

The nation yesterday declared it would reimpose stricter restrictions – people unable to meet in more than pairs and dining in again banned – starting tomorrow, just days after the government relaxed measures for the vaccinated. 

Infection counts have been on the rise since a week ago, with 195 cases reported yesterday, mostly linked to another outbreak traced to fishmongers at Jurong Fishery Port. The cluster has now spread to more than 30 markets nationwide with over 300 cases reported. 

Singaporeans reacted to the news online in despair and disbelief that the country has regressed with restrictions being relaxed and then tightened again following almost every outbreak in the past year. 

“Times are hard and it seems like a neverending nightmare of a merry go round now. Jiayou (Good luck) everyone and take care of your mental health,” Ginny Wee wrote.

“Here I am playing my part and being responsible for the past year, following every rule but we’re still back in this mess because a group of people weren’t careful while having fun. Our efforts always go down the drain,” Upatseven wrote.

“Gone backwards.. This is the endemic world..,” Kaiserneb wrote.

The reversal on social gatherings, cut from five to two, and ban on dining out regardless of vaccination status, will be effective tomorrow till Aug. 18. These restrictions were last seen in May to curb the outbreak at Changi Airport.

Ong Ye Kung of the nation’s task force said yesterday that the decision to “revert” to the latest measures was so that they could have more time to reach a two-thirds vaccination target in time for National Day on Aug 9. Close to half of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The latest COVID eruption linked to the Jurong Fishery Port was reported Friday. Four markets – Chong Boon Market & Food Centre, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Haig Road Market & Food Centre and Chong Pang Market – have been shuttered after forming their own clusters. In total, the ministry reported 321 cases detected from at least 35 markets traced back to the Jurong Fishery Port.

The daily infections linked to KTVs, on the other hand, have slowed with just 14 cases reported yesterday.

Singapore has recorded a total of 63,440 infections and 36 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

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