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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

To Address Vaccine Hesitancy, Singapore Tightens Rules and Drafts a Comedian

As Singapore’s coronavirus infections tick up, the federal government is tightening restrictions. It’s additionally combating vaccine hesitancy on social media — by ordering corrections and posting whimsical content material.

Singapore stated on Tuesday that it had recorded 64 circumstances of neighborhood transmission over the previous week, up from 11 circumstances the earlier week. Seven of the current circumstances have been attributable to the B.1.617 variant that has wreaked havoc in India, in accordance with the authorities.

In an effort to tamp down the most recent outbreak and stop variants from spreading, the Singaporean authorities stated on Tuesday that vacationers arriving from most nations should quarantine for 21 days at “dedicated facilities,” up from 14 days, beginning on Saturday.

Mass sporting occasions are additionally set to be suspended and social gatherings will probably be capped at 5 individuals till May 30, amongst different restrictions.

About 2.2 million individuals in Singapore, or almost a quarter of the inhabitants, had acquired a minimum of one dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday, in accordance with a New York Times database.

But Singapore’s vaccination marketing campaign has been threatened by falsehoods spreading on social media — for instance, a rumor that Covid-19 vaccines trigger strokes and coronary heart assaults.

The Health Ministry has debunked rumors and ordered corrections to social media posts that endorse false or unsubstantiated claims about vaccine unwanted side effects. (That is allowed beneath a contentious regulation that the federal government says is designed to struggle faux information.)

The authorities has additionally commissioned a whimsical music video by a Singaporean pop-culture heavyweight, comic and actor, Gurmit Singh, that addresses widespread vaccine considerations and misconceptions.

“Singapore, don’t wait and see,” he sings within the refrain, dancing to a disco beat. “Better get your shot, steady pom pi pi.”

“Steady pom pi pi” is a phrase from Singlish, a rough-and-ready patois that’s spoken broadly within the nation and incorporates English, Chinese and Malay. It refers to somebody who retains their cool in a tense state of affairs and was a catchphrase utilized by Mr. Singh’s best-known character, Phua Chu Kang, a constructing contractor in a long-running Nineteen Nineties sitcom on Singaporean tv.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the federal government’s tweet containing the video had been seen greater than 750,000 occasions.

Since a two-month lockdown ended final June, life in Singapore has progressively returned almost to regular, though residents are nonetheless required to put on masks in public and need to earn a living from home if they’ll. Dale Fisher, a professor of medication on the National University of Singapore, stated some individuals within the city-state had grow to be extra lax about mask-wearing and social distancing and that the brand new measures served as a reminder that the pandemic was removed from over.

However, Dr. Fisher stated, Singapore’s intensive contact tracing and tight quarantine necessities made a harsher lockdown pointless. “With all these tweaks, I’m hoping we can demonstrate that widespread lockdowns aren’t needed if you’ve got good public health infrastructure in place,” he added.

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