Speaking in Parliament yesterday (26 Jul), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung hinted that Singapore is better than countries like US, UK, Australia and New Zealand in handling COVID-19.
He pointed out that Singapore is one of the few countries to have come through the last 20 months with very few fatalities and said that Singapore is unique even among countries and regions that have access to vaccines.
As of 26 July, there have been 64,179 infected cases detected in Singapore since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 37 cases of fatalities.
Some countries – such as the US and UK – went through major episodes of widespread transmission, while others – such as Australia and New Zealand – kept the pandemic under control, but are now finding it difficult to get their people vaccinated.
“This will make us perhaps the only country in the world which has not suffered a collapse of our hospitals nor a high death toll, and at the same time achieved a very high vaccination rate in our population,” he said.
“This uniqueness is due to the unity of our people, the trust amongst them, and between people and Government.”
Ong also told Parliament that Singapore now has 54 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as at Sunday (25 Jul), and the vaccination rate has been going up by about one percentage point a day.
He said that the national vaccination programme is “progressing well”. By National Day, almost 70 per cent of the population will have been fully vaccinated with the rate rising to about 80 per cent by early September, he added.
“This means Singapore will have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world,” he said. “It puts us in a strong position to transit to a Covid-19-resilient society.”
Ong further noted that even at current level of vaccination, it reduces incidence of severe illnesses and deaths. Those with severe illness are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, he said.
“For now, it would appear that we have successfully weakened the link between infections and severe illnesses,” he added.