The Singapore Government’s recent move to ban the entry of all non-residents who travelled to India in the last 14 days had received mixed reactions from netizens, with many of them commented that the Government has taken “another reactive” action.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has earlier announced that all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been to India within the last two weeks will be barred from entering Singapore, or transit through Singapore.
The ban takes effect at 11.59pm on Friday (23 Apr) “until further notice”, which will also apply to all those who had obtained prior approval for entry into the city-state.
This came after it was reported that 11 migrant workers of Westlite Woodlands dormitory were tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, of which 10 of them have initially recovered from the disease.
While there is no evidence that the cases are linked to the new strain from India, many of the arrivals from India are workers in the construction, marine and process sectors, said the Ministry.
“Even with our control measures, there is still a risk that a leak may happen, and cause another wave of infection in the dormitories. It is also a concern that recovered workers (i.e. those who had been infected earlier) are susceptible to being re-infected,” it said in a statement.
MOH added that visitors who have recently travelled to India and have not completed their 14-days SHN by 11.59pm on Thursday (22 Apr) will be required to complete their additional seven-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
“They will undergo COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests on-arrival, on Day 14 of their SHN, and another test before the end of their 21-day SHN period,” it stated.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, explained that the move was necessary due to the situation in India has worsened since the start of the week.
“Even if they were to serve out the Stay-Home Notice [SHN], we know that is never 100 per cent foolproof and leaks can still happen.
“And if such a leak was to happen amongst new Indian arrival working in these sectors, then a new strain then get leaked to the dormitory and worse, even recovered or vaccinated workers may get infected and then we may see new clusters emerging again in our dormitories,” he added.
Some even compared the Singapore Government to Hong Kong, which has banned flights from India from 20 Apr after the N501Y mutant COVID-19 strain was detected in the Asian financial hub, saying that Singapore should have followed suit earlier.
One netizen wrote: “Other countries straight away ban all the flights from India and u still allow those flights coming from India.”