Singapore Abandons Zero COVID Strategy

The following is a transcript of an interview between NPR‘s Julie McCarthy and Dale Fisher, infectious disease physician at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

Fisher says, “we are allowing endemicity”. According to McCarthy, this decision is causing a surge in infections. Fisher explains, “You allow the doors open, and of course, a lot of people get infections. The vast majority of those are asymptomatic or very mild”.

Fisher confirms that Singapore’s experience has taught them that the vaccines are not very good at preventing transmission, but insists that “it is maintaining its capacity to prevent severe disease and ICU and deaths.”

To date, Singapore is slowly reopening its borders, and allowing travelers from a small group of countries to enter. To this Fisher comments, “All these quarantine restrictions to stop 10 people a day when you’re getting 3,000 a day – it makes no sense. So these are being peeled back”.

Despite the slow reopening of Singapore, the country’s health experts say that there won’t be a UK-style Freedom Day. The reopening will be gradual and calibrated and is part of a much larger strategy that will enable Singaporeans to live with the coronavirus [see Singapore decides to “live with the virus”].

Editor’s Note: We add this article on this website to remind people that lockdowns are no longer “out,” and cultivating endemicity is now the latest “in” trend. We laud Singapore’s decision to exit zero COVID, because this, after all, is still the way forward. We wish to reiterate, however, that so many aspects of this new strategy have not been covered by the NPR article [this is no surprise as NPR is part of the Trusted News Initiative, see Trusted News Initiative or Corrupted News Initiative? Mission: Systematic censorship of the world’s top public health experts, also read Another media insider reveals how network uses corrupt practices to promote COVID vaccines and fake news].

For example, if Singapore has found that the vaccines cannot prevent transmission of the disease, why are they reopening and not closing down? [1]https://theindependent.sg/ho-ching-explains-why-govt-isnt-calling-for-another-circuit-breaker-despite-growing-covid-cases/ Some people say that it is because this year, vaccines are now available. Why then are experts in the UK calling for a new lockdown, when the country also has a high vaccination rate?[2]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/23/uk-facing-another-covid-lockdown-christmas-if-we-dont-act-soon

What was not mentioned by the NPR article is that the vaccines were an “assurance” for Singapore that the hospital system was not going to be overwhelmed by people with COVID needing emergency care. Herd immunity, however, cannot be relied on by the vaccines. “Allowing endemicity” means that the government is now allowing people to get infected so that they can get long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID. [To understand what endemicity is, read What does endemic COVID look like? New study shows the path towards endemic COVID, and WHO representative says COVID is now endemic in India].

This is in agreement with what Prof. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Martin Kuldorff, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya were referring to when they initiated the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020 [read The Great Barrington Declaration: Life must return to normal for the healthy, the vulnerable must be protected]. What took countries a long time to realize that zero COVID is impossible?

This article shows us that the refusal of countries to lift border restrictions and enable the free movement of people, at least within their own areas, despite rising vaccination rates, is nothing more than a political move. Do we really think that such political manipulation will end once countries reach 100% vaccination? [High vaccination rates do not guarantee safety from COVID, despite what governments say. See Waterford, Ireland: Vaccinated Patients in ICU as High as Total Number of COVID Patients in ICU Last Year, Former CDC Director: COVID deaths among fully vaccinated more common than we think, COVID Data from Israel: ‘Alarming and Shocking’].

The following is a transcript of an interview between NPR‘s Julie McCarthy and Dale Fisher, infectious disease physician at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

Fisher says, “we are allowing endemicity”. According to McCarthy, this decision is causing a surge in infections. Fisher explains, “You allow the doors open, and of course, a lot of people get infections. The vast majority of those are asymptomatic or very mild”.

Fisher confirms that Singapore’s experience has taught them that the vaccines are not very good at preventing transmission, but insists that “it is maintaining its capacity to prevent severe disease and ICU and deaths.”

To date, Singapore is slowly reopening its borders, and allowing travelers from a small group of countries to enter. To this Fisher comments, “All these quarantine restrictions to stop 10 people a day when you’re getting 3,000 a day – it makes no sense. So these are being peeled back”.

Despite the slow reopening of Singapore, the country’s health experts say that there won’t be a UK-style Freedom Day. The reopening will be gradual and calibrated and is part of a much larger strategy that will enable Singaporeans to live with the coronavirus [see Singapore decides to “live with the virus”].

Editor’s Note: We add this article on this website to remind people that lockdowns are already “out,” and cultivating endemicity is now the latest “in” trend. We laud Singapore’s decision to exit zero COVID, because this, after all, is still the way forward. We wish to reiterate, however, that so many aspects of this new strategy have not been covered by the NPR article [this is no surprise as NPR is part of the Trusted News Initiative, see Trusted News Initiative or Corrupted News Initiative? Mission: Systematic censorship of the world’s top public health experts, also read Another media insider reveals how network uses corrupt practices to promote COVID vaccines and fake news].

For example, if Singapore has found that the vaccines cannot prevent transmission of the disease, why are they reopening and not closing down?[3]https://theindependent.sg/ho-ching-explains-why-govt-isnt-calling-for-another-circuit-breaker-despite-growing-covid-cases/ Some people say that it is because this year, vaccines are now available. Why then are experts in the UK calling for a new lockdown, when the country also has a high vaccination rate?[4]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/23/uk-facing-another-covid-lockdown-christmas-if-we-dont-act-soon

What was not mentioned by the NPR article is that the vaccines were an “assurance” for Singapore that the hospital system was not going to be overwhelmed by people with COVID needing emergency care. Herd immunity, however, cannot be relied on by the vaccines. “Allowing endemicity” means that the government is now allowing people to get infected so that they can get long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID. [To understand what endemicity is, read What does endemic COVID look like?, New study shows the path towards endemic COVID, and WHO representative says COVID is now endemic in India].

This is in agreement with what Prof. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Martin Kuldorff, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya were referring to when they initiated the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020 [read The Great Barrington Declaration: Life must return to normal for the healthy, the vulnerable must be protected]. What took countries a long time to realize that zero COVID is impossible?

This article shows us that the refusal of countries to lift border restrictions and enable the free movement of people, at least within their own areas, despite rising vaccination rates, is nothing more than a political move. Do we really think that such political manipulation will end once countries reach 100% vaccination? [High vaccination rates do not guarantee safety from COVID, despite what governments say. See Waterford, Ireland: Vaccinated Patients in ICU as High as Total Number of COVID Patients in ICU Last Year, Former CDC Director: COVID deaths among fully vaccinated more common than we think, COVID Data from Israel: ‘Alarming and Shocking’].

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