Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the current COVID-19 situation during his National Day Rally Speech on 21 August.
According to PM Lee, masks will only be required in healthcare settings like hospitals, as well as public transport. According to him, relaxing mask use will prevent fatigue.
“But don’t take off your masks this very moment,” he adds.
Currently, masks are still mandatory in indoor settings like shopping malls and optional in outdoor settings.
PM Lee speaking at the National Day Rally 2022
Source: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore – YouTube Channel
PM Lee added that masks will also not be needed in class, but this shouldn’t cause worry for parents.
“Children do need to be able to see the facial expressions of their teachers and of each other,” he said.
“You have to learn to read faces: Is he angry, is he happy, did he say her or the, otherwise you grow up with a blank space in your brain,” he said, adding that it’s crucial for learning and development.
According to experts, there is no need to continue enforcing indoor mask use since more than 50% of Singapore’s population has been infected with COVID-19 before, and over 90% of the population has been vaccinated.
PM Lee also mentioned how citizens worked with, and not against one another to fight COVID-19.
“You trusted your government. You patiently endured rounds of easing and tightening despite the inconvenience.”
However, he also warned people to be prepared to encounter more variants since the virus will continue to remain.
“One day, the next pandemic will come. A new virus will emerge, more transmissible, more adaptable and more dangerous than Covid-19,” he said, adding that Singapore must be ready for it.
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