Singapore likely to ease COVID-19 rules after June 13: PM hinh anh 1Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Photo: MCI)
Singapore (VNA) - Singapore should be able to relax restrictions on social gatherings after June 13, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 31.

This is provided the COVID-19 situation continues to improve and the number of community cases falls further, he added.

In a speech broadcast live to the nation, the PM noted that the number of new cases reported daily has fallen since Singapore went on heightened alert with stricter measures to combat the spread of the virus.

Lee said that the country is “in a much better position today”, compared to a year ago when it had its first big outbreak of infections. This is because it has built up testing and contact tracing capabilities, while its vaccination programme is also “well advanced”.

But new variants have emerged, and will continue to do so, he said, and a more infectious virus means Singapore will have to “raise (its) game” to keep the pandemic under control.

Specifically, Singapore will have to step up testing, contract tracing and vaccinations, he said.

Testing must be done “faster, and more liberally and extensively”, Lee said, adding that Singapore will be shifting its approach to testing.

Painting a picture of the new normal, the PM said he does not expect COVID-19 to disappear. It will remain with humankind, and become endemic. The virus will continue to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come.

This means small outbreaks of COVID-19 will occur in Singapore from time to time too, he said.

“Our aim must be to keep the community as a whole safe, while accepting that some people may get infected every now and then. Just as we do with the common flu or dengue fever, which we now manage through public health measures and personal precautions,” Lee was cited by CNA as saying.

Living with the COVID-19 virus also means not completely closing Singapore’s borders, he affirmed./.