By Krystal Chia
(Bloomberg) — Nearly one-third of Singapore’s residents now support living with Covid-19, a poll showed, after a push by its leader to treat the pathogen as endemic.
Some 29% of respondents support such a strategy, according to an online poll conducted by Milieu Insight, a Singapore-based consumer insight and analytics firm, compared to 23% in a prior survey conducted earlier this month after the government tightened some anti-virus measures. About 15% of the 1,201 people queried prefer a strict Covid Zero policy, down from 22%, while 43% prefer a mix of the two approaches, it found.
In a speech on Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pushed for a strategy of living with the virus, as the Southeast Asian nation doubles down on its commitment to shift away from a Covid Zero strategy, a change being followed by stalwarts Australia and New Zealand. Singapore cannot stay closed off indefinitely, though there will continue to be Covid cases, he said.
The government unveiled a host of new measures over the weekend, including simplified testing protocols, home-recovery programs and banning unvaccinated people from malls. It also expanded eligibility for booster shots to those aged 30 and above who were fully vaccinated.
The poll also found:
Levels of frustration with Singapore’s strategy for dealing with and managing Covid dropped to 18% from 28% following Lee’s speech
Among the new measures announced, respondents were least supportive of quarantine-free travel lanes
Nearly half of respondents said the new policies were “just right,” while 23% called them “somewhat strict”
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.