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‘Living With Covid’ Strategy Under Threat As Singapore, U.K. Face Sharp Rise In Cases

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‘Living With Covid’ Strategy Under Threat As Singapore, U.K. Face Sharp Rise In Cases

Topline

Faced with a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, several nations are reintroducing pandemic restrictions this week including Singapore, parts of Russia and China, thwarting some countries’ hopes of living with the virus.

Key Facts

Singapore’s Ministry of Health announced the current measures—a cap of just two people in social gatherings and workers being encouraged to stay home—will remain in place until November 21, to help curb the rise in local Covid-19 cases.

Singapore now reports an average of 3,300 cases every day up from less than 20 cases a day back in June, when the city-state pivoted to its ‘living with Covid’ strategy.

The U.K., which lifted most of its pandemic restrictions in July, is also facing a surge of Covid-19 cases—more than 40,000 new infections every day—prompting the country’s doctors to urge the government to reinstate measures such as mask-wearing.

Other countries like Australia have begun to switch over to a similar living with the virus strategy as vaccination rates soar—even as case counts remain at record levels.

Lockdowns are being reinstated in parts of Russia and China as well as virus cases rise.

Big Number

82.1%. That’s the percentage of Singapore’s entire population that has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to Bloomberg’s tracker, making it one of the world’s most-vaccinated nations. The country’s lifting of Covid restrictions earlier this year had partly been prompted by its highly successful vaccine rollout.

What To Watch For

With more than 70% of its eligible population fully vaccinated, Australia is a few weeks away from transitioning into its own version of the ‘living with the virus’ strategy. The country plans to lift most of its pandemic measures once 80% of the population is fully vaccinated, a target that will likely be reached by early November. The country is currently reporting nearly 2,300 new cases a day on average—its highest number since the start of the pandemic and medical experts are worried that the reopening plan is moving too fast and could further aggravate the situation.

Further Reading

Singapore Confronts the Division and Fear That Come From Living With Covid (Bloomberg)

Doctors call for Covid Plan B to start in England (BBC)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

Source: Forbes


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