The city-state, which has a population of 5.7 million people, has so far registered 62,617 cases, but the proposal would end the daily tally count.
Since the start of the pandemic, the south-east Asian country has only documented 36 deaths from the Chinese Communist Party Virus (COVID-19), prompting officials to stop counting infection numbers each day to restore everyday life; by treating the virus “like the flu.”
Three key Singapore’s COVID-19 team have set out a plan to end 18 months of strict restrictions and restore quarantine-free travel and public gatherings.
Singapore officials hope to vaccinate at least two-thirds of the population early this month, with the same number fully vaccinated by the start of August.
“Early evidence suggests that with vaccination, we can tame COVID-19,” the ministers added. “The bad news is that COVID-19 may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst.”
By removing strict rules, people will be able to “get on with their lives” while the virus is controlled by other measures, including widespread vaccination and better treatments.
“Instead of monitoring COVID-19 infection numbers every day, we will focus on the outcomes,” the trade, finance, and health ministers wrote in a joint op-ed in the Straits Times.
“How many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on. This is like how we now monitor influenza.
“We can’t eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”
After more than a year of restrictions worldwide, Singapore’s suggestion could be an early sign that the world is ready to live with COVID.
Meanwhile, a group of doctors has written an “urgent open letter” to Singapore’s expert committee on the COVID-19 vaccine, urging the vaccination of Singapore’s youth to be halted until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarifies why a teenage jab recipient died.