It could take four to five years for the COVID-19 pandemic to end and the world to look to a post-Covid normal, a senior Singaporean minister has warned.
At the Singapore Perspectives 2021 conference hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in Singapore on Monday, Singapore Minister of Education Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, said it is still There are many uncertainties to deal with for the next several years, Channel News Asia shared its hopes on how to “reset” the future after the pandemic ended.
“At some point the pandemic will be over, but it may be four to five years before we finally see the end of the pandemic and the beginning of normalcy after Covid. What will this new world look like after Covid? No you can say it,” said Mr. Wong.
He said there is still great uncertainty about how the coronavirus will shape society in the years to come.
He said adherence to safe management measures like wearing masks and avoiding crowds will continue this year and “maybe a good part of next year”.
“Additionally, the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations will gradually resume global travel, but vaccinating the world will not be quick or easy,” he said during the conference.
The government has planned that everyone in Singapore will be vaccinated by the third quarter of this year, but Mr Wong admitted there could still be “bumps along the way”.
He noted that current vaccines may not be as effective against new mutant strains of the virus and need to be modified to counteract them.
“In the positive scenario, this means the vaccine becomes a bit like an annual flu shot … or we develop a vaccine that is suitable for all strains. In the worst-case scenario, however, we are always one step behind an evolving virus. And.” You won’t be able to catch up in time, “he said.
“So we still have enormous uncertainties ahead of us. The bottom line is that we live in a common world and nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” the report quoted the minister as saying.
Looking to the future after the pandemic, Wong said the current crisis could create the conditions for a “software update” or “restart” of Singapore after the damage caused by the virus.
“We need to reset our social pact to become a more just and equitable society. The pandemic may be indiscriminate about who it infects, but its effects are far from the same. Indeed, it has widened the gulf between belongings.” not, “he said.
Mr Wong said Singapore started prioritizing reducing inequality a decade ago and that many emergency measures have been put in place over the past year to help low-income groups.
But this year temporary measures will have to “wear off” as the economy improves.
However, the minister foresees that in a more uncertain and volatile world, Singaporeans will need more security and support.
“The impact of the pandemic has given an additional boost to strengthening our social support system. There will be a permanent shift towards further strengthening our social safety nets in Singapore to protect disadvantaged and vulnerable people,” he said, adding that this is the case will be “long-term sustainable” to do.