The Government’s Irresponsible “You-Die-Your-Own-Business” Approach to the Covid Delta Variant

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Dear Friends,

Covid-19 cases are rising exponentially and hitting record daily highs. The number of deaths from Covid-19 are also rising exponentially. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has acknowledged that the Delta Variant of Covid-19 is highly infectious. Our hospitals are under threat of being overwhelmed.

We have given the Multi-Ministry Task Force time to fix their comedy of errors, though it appears they still haven’t gotten their act together.

During this time, the vaccines we have received are losing effectiveness in protecting us from the virus – the vaccine loses efficacy over time and doctors say it offers little protection after 6 months.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has “assured” us that there is no need to worry. Because, he says, over 80 percent of our population is fully-vaccinated, and if one who is vaccinated contracts Covid, symptoms will be mild and most people will not need to seek hospital treatment.

As such, the government is opening up more travel lanes with countries that are not yet out of the woods.

If this is “endemic living”, why not loosen restrictions for locals who are vaccinated instead of imposing even stricter measures such as only allowing 2 vaccinated persons to gather in a group when vising shopping centres?

Why not loosen restrictions that are taking a toll on families and mental health, such as allowing more vaccinated relatives per day for household visits? And why not allow F&B outlets to fill more tables with vaccinated customers?

Clearly, between the sweet talk and magic water, something is amiss.

Which is – elderly Singaporeans, whether they are vaccinated or not, who will suffer the most if they contract Covid due to their weakened immune systems. This vulnerable group forms the core of Covid death rates in Singapore.

But instead of devising ways to get help to these seniors, the government seems more preoccupied with spending countless man hours debating bills that will strengthen its iron grip on freedom of speech such as the new FICA law.

The Ivory Tower has not only lost touch with the ground, it has lost sight of the ground.

It is tightening measures, yet exposing the most vulnerable in our community to greater risks by opening the floodgates. Let’s not forget how the Delta variant reached our shores while our healthcare system was still woefully under-equipped to handle a surge in cases.

The elite must not be allowed to get away with simply victimising unvaccinated individuals as an excuse for their incompetency.

The SDA challenges government leaders to adopt more proactive strategies to help the vulnerable in our community, especially seniors who are not digitally-savvy and those from disadvantaged communities.

They are equipped with the full machinery of the state, with a multi-million-dollar Trace Together system added to that to identify such individuals and households. More can be done, such as targeted personal counselling to receive vaccination, or offering immunity boosters in the form of vitamins.

Such targeted measures would be a vital pivot, and achievable as our high vaccination rate frees up boots on the ground.

People’s lives are at stake. And the MTF, which has largely been in reactive mode, should not be afforded more time to waste.

Singaporeans are not simply economic digits and must never be subjected to a “You-Die-Your-Own-Business” treatment from the officials elected to care for our interests.

Desmond Lim
Chairman
Singapore Democratic Alliance

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