Singapore is planning to become the first country to stop counting COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and just treat it like a normal seasonal Flu.
The south-east Asian country has recorded just 36 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and officials now want to ditch measures such as counting infection numbers each day.
A blueprint has been laid out by three leading members of Singapore’s Covid-19 taskforce to end 18 months of tough restrictions in order to restore quarantine-free travel and public gatherings.
The hope is to let people “get on with their lives” by scrapping tough rules and instead controlling the virus through other means.
“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.
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“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.”
Full details of the roadmap have yet to be revealed, but ministers suggested measures such as breathalyser-style tests, more therapeutic treatments and greater personal responsibility.
Singapore’s proposal could be an early sign of the world starting to live with Covid after more than a year of restrictions across the globe.
Meanwhile, a group of doctors have penned an “urgent open letter” to Singapore’s expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination, calling for the vaccination of youths in Singapore to be stopped until the US CDC clarifies why a teenage jab recipient died.