Singapore isn’t shutting borders to Omicron. What’s its secret?

World

Singapore isn’t shutting borders to Omicron. What’s its secret?

The Asian nation has chosen instead to step up testing for travellers and pause further easing of curbs

Low De Wei and Philip J. Heijmans

Singapore’s world-leading pivot away from Covid Zero is being watched closely as the Omicron variant roils global markets. So far, the country has refrained from reversing course on its gradual border reopening, and experts say it has time to wait before pushing the panic button.    

Instead of joining Japan and Israel in slamming borders shut again to foreigners, Singapore kept its existing vaccinated travel lanes open, choosing instead to step up testing for travellers and pause further easing of travel and social curbs. 

“There is no evidence that this variant should cause panic or require substantially different procedures to manage and contain,” said Ashley St John, an associate professor of immunology at Duke-NUS Medical School in the US. “I don’t say it’s realistic to expect that Omicron can be contained easily. It is likely to spread substantially in the world in spite of many measures including testing and restricted movement.”..

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