Singapore adopts conservative approach to post-COVID recovery
Speaking at the Bloomberg 2020 New Economy Forum, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “It is better…to keep these sectors in suspended animation, than to risk reviving them before we are ready to deal with the consequences and then we have another major COVID outbreak.”
The government will, on its part, keep the economy going and people in jobs, and provide help to those not in jobs, particularly those most affected by the pandemic. It has done this by allocating a total of S$93 billion (US$69 billion), of which S$52 billion (US$38 billion) is from the country’s reserves, to deal with the pandemic and its consequences.
“If you are a country like China, you can decide to close all your entry points practically and be in splendid isolation for quite some time without much difficulty. Not forever, but for quite a long time. But for Singapore, that is going to be very tough,” he said.
As for vaccines, Lee said Singapore has made arrangements with multiple vaccine makers “so that when products become available, we will not be last in the queue. I doubt we will be first, but we do not want to be the last.” He added that though vaccines will be available by 2021, it would not be possible to finish protecting the world’s population within the next year.