Why we should be prepared to extend our Covid 19’s “Circuit Breaker” even longer

Why we should be prepared to extend our Covid 19’s “Circuit Breaker” even longer

Whether is it a “Shut Down”, “Lock Down” or “Circuit Breaker” (in Singapore’s case), these terms in any other names mean the same thing : extreme social distancing measures, and it only serves one important purpose : to contain Covid 19 as much as possible. Covid 19 first started in Wuhan, China around late October 2019 and identified as an epidemic in December 2019 as China started progressively to “lock down” the other surrounding cities of Hubei by January 2020.

Since 23rd January 2020, different cities of Hubei were ordered into different levels of social distancing measures before all these were lifted on 8th April 2020, a total duration of 77 days. Since then, most of the countries which entered a “lock down” status have yet to annouce any affirmative dates when these orders will be lifted.

Our neighbouring country, Malaysia, issued their first “lock down” order on 14th March 2020 for a 2 week period before extending it for another 2 weeks until 14th April 2020 and now it’s extended for the third time for another 2 weeks until 28th April 2020 (which might again be extended). On 7th April 2020, Singapore started an almost month long “Circuit Breaker” period from 7th April – 4th May 2020. While some countries are adopting a more enforced approach on “lock down” orders, there are other countries like UK and India which have decisively extended their “lock down” duration.

If we compare Singapore with Hubei, while the number of cases, population and area are much smaller, the population density in Singapore is over 30 times more dense than Hubei. Singapore is, afterall, the third most densely populated country in the world, and that puts us comparatively at much greater propensity and risk for faster and more widespread contagion.

One may question this. Especially when you consider the size of Singapore, the relative ease of implementation, and also, the relatively lower number of those infected, it is easy to think that by 4th May, we should have “flattened the curve”.

But a sword is always double-edged. Our small size makes us highly compact, and it also means we are all staying in much higher proximity with one another, and easier for virus to spread. One can expect the situation to have to worsen first before it can get better. We should therefore, be prepared for the likelihood of an extended period of “lock-down” in Singapore.

We need to understand that each and every day, the situation of Covid 19 are closely monitored by relevant government agencies, and there might be urgent (or out-dated) orders which need to be complied immediately to curb the spread of this virus. And when it’s necessary to extend or “re-enforce” (with more orders) our “Circuit Breaker”, as a responsible person and citizen, we need to do our part well to know how important this “Circuit Breaker” is for the well being of our whole nation.

Written by : Mike Koh
Edited by : Huang Yushan / Ling Weiming
Published on : 14/04/2020
Image : Source / Photo by Samuel Zeller / Unsplash