Singapore defeated the first wave of coronavirus.
It was widely praised for having one of the best responses to the virus in the world for using rigorous contact tracing to disrupt local clusters and avoid a lockdown. Now, the second wave is already hitting as the virus slips back in through the cracks and it has been forced into a lockdown.
“As the world scrambles to contain the coronavirus, Singapore has been held up as a role model for its early and decisive response to the threat. The city-state drew international praise for its ability to blunt the spread of COVID-19 while avoiding some of the drastic containment measures seen in countries like China, Italy and Spain. But Singapore’s lauded response has come into question. This week, it enforced a partial lockdown as it struggles to contain a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
As part of Singapore’s stricter “circuit breaker” measures, it shuttered most workplaces on Tuesday. The following day, school closures went into effect for at least a month, shifting students to “full home-based learning.” The government has also banned public and private social gatherings of any size, meaning residents who entertain guests face six months of jail time or a fine of up to $7,000.
“We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to preempt escalating infections,” Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said in an address to the nation on April 3. …
Last month, it appeared that Singapore had managed to keep a lid on coronavirus infections through a system that included exhaustive contract tracing, early travel restrictions and strict social distancing measures. Though it was one of the worst-hit places in the early stages of the pandemic, the country managed to keep cases to fewer than 390 and had zero deaths until March 21, nearly two months after it reported its first coronavirus infection.
Since then, Singapore’s confirmed cases have risen dramatically, to 2,108 as of Friday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracking tool, but the island nation still appears to be handling the coronavirus better than many other developed countries and cities. US cities and counties that have roughly double Singapore’s population size of 5.6 million have a disproportionately higher number of cases. Los Angeles County, for instance, has 8,430 confirmed cases and 241 deaths as of Friday, while the state of Georgia has 11,859 confirmed cases and 425 deaths as of Friday. Singapore has seven deaths. Meanwhile, New York, which has a similar population size and density to Singapore, has 5,820 deaths as of Friday, after confirming its first cases more than a month after Singapore. Hong Kong and Taiwan are perhaps some of the few if not only places that have an edge over Singapore in their containment of the coronavirus.
“What they [Singapore] are really showing the rest of the world is that this is just a difficult virus to beat back and keep down,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota told Reuters. …”
Singapore is big and densely populated like New York City, but only 7 people have died there compared to 6,367 confirmed deaths in the Big Apple. 0 people had died in Singapore until March 21.
BTW, Singapore is 1 degree from the equator. It is 88 degrees there with 88% humidity. It has two seasons: Wet and Dry. Obviously, this isn’t going to go away in the summer like influenza.
Guayaquil in Ecuador is 2 degrees from the equator:
This is something the world is going to struggle with until there is a vaccine and that is likely over a year away which means fighting it off through the fall and winter.
WE’RE DOOMED! WE’RE DOOMED! Not necessarily, but life as we know it isn’t going to return to normal any time soon. Many illusions are unlikely to recover from this.