On Sunday, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Covid-19 crisis is “far from over” and it will take a year or two before a vaccine is widely available as the country celebrates its 55th independence. National Day of Singapore is observed every year on August 9, in commemoration of the independence of the country from Malaysia in 1965.
Business closures, downsizing and unemployment are all likely to rise in the coming months, he said. The Covid-19 crisis is “far from over” and it will take a year or two before a vaccine is common, Lee said. Yet this is not the first economic crisis in Singapore, he said, citing the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, the aftermath of the US terror attacks of September 11 , 2001, and the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2009.
The Prime Minister encouraged employers to “make every effort” to retain their workforce and “not drop them at the first sign of difficulty, creating loyalty and empowering employees to help restore their employers as conditions improve.” The experience of Singapore battling COVID-19 has brought people closer to one another. As of Saturday, Singapore’s Covid-19 tally stands at 54,929, out of whom 48,312 have recovered, 124 are in hospitals while 6,334 being cared for in community facilities for mild symptoms, according to health officials.