Jump in Singapore COVID-19 cases despite 80 per cent vaccination

A jump in COVID-19 cases is forcing Singapore – one of the most vaccinated countries – to reintroduce restrictions.

The city-state reported 1647 new coronavirus cases and two deaths yesterday, taking the total number of cases to 89,539, the Ministry of Health said.

It was the seventh consecutive day that the number of infections exceeded 1000.

© Getty Students from a secondary school in Singapore lined up to have their vaccination records checked.

Singapore has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world, with more than 80 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

In response to rising cases, Singapore authorities this week tightened restrictions until October 24 in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.

Social gatherings have been reduced from a maximum of five to two people, with the same limit for household visitors and restaurants and cafes for vaccinated residents.

Singaporeans must now limit social gatherings to one per day.

Authorities have urged locals to meet in outdoor, public venues to curb transmission.

Primary and special education students will continue remote learning until at least October 7.

Warning for Australia

Singapore’s outbreak comes as other countries in the region, including Australia, move towards a similar living with COVID-19 model.

The city-state pursued an aggressive “COVID zero” policy during the pandemic, imposing tight restrictions including shutting restaurants, closing borders and enforcing social distancing.

© Getty Social gatherings in Singapore have been reduced to a limit of two, with people urged to meet in outdoor settings.

But in June, the government announced it was planning to move toward a living with COVID strategy – attempting to control outbreaks with vaccines and monitoring hospitalisations rather than restricting citizens’ lives.

The Australian government announced in August that once 70 per cent of people over 16 receive two doses of vaccine, there will be a steady easing of restrictions.

To date, nearly 52 per cent of Australians have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

But some Australian state leaders have warned against opening state borders prematurely, questioning why they would willingly expose their populations to the virus.

– With CNN

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