S’pore rules out further tightening of curbs

Singapore’s Covid pandemic-related restrictions are “working” and have helped to stall a slight rise in case numbers since last month, the city-state’s Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday.

Saying case numbers had “even declined slightly” since the rules were brought in two weeks ago, Wong ruled out any “further tightening of posture” ahead of the June 13 end-date for the measures, which include limiting restaurants to takeaway or delivery, and capping attendance at events at 100 people, dpa news agency reported.

The Finance Ministry on Friday announced an additional $800 million in state funding for businesses affected by the retightening of curbs, adding gyms and arts education centres to the list of businesses receiving a 50 per cent wage subsidy.

The restrictions were imposed after the Health Ministry reported a rise in “unlinked” virus cases and after travel from hard-hit India and neighbouring countries was banned, including for work permit and residency holders.

Singapore had up to then largely reopened domestically, after a short April-June lockdown last year.

The Health Ministry reported 30 new cases of the virus on Friday, taking the total closer to 62,000.

Most of the cases reported since the pandemic’s start came in mid-2020 and were among migrant workers.

Thirty-two deaths related to the virus have been recorded so far.