Singapore, April 26
Singapore’s ban on travellers with current journey historical past to India is not targeted at any nationality, however is aimed at addressing the chance posed by a spot with a excessive incidence of COVID-19 infections, a senior minister mentioned right here on Monday.
The transfer to bar all long-term cross holders and short-term guests who’ve travelled to India inside the final 14 days from coming into or transiting via Singapore took impact from April 23. It got here as Singapore went into “heightened alert” towards COVID-19.
A traveller who has left India however stayed abroad earlier than flying to Singapore would not have the identical stage of danger as somebody who got here instantly from India, mentioned Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Ong, who turns into Health Minister from May 15 below a Cabinet reshuffle introduced final week, was responding to a query about Indian nationals flying in from different nations to bypass a journey ban on long-term cross holders and short-term guests who’ve travelled to India inside the final 14 days.
Reports of such incidents have sparked concern amongst some members of the general public.
Ong defined that anybody staying in a single place lengthy sufficient would assume the chance profile of that place, no matter nationality.
“If your policy is to target risk, then for someone from a high-risk country to move to a lower-risk country, stay there for some time, and after that remain non-Covid positive… and then come to Singapore, actually, you have lowered the risk tremendously in that process,” The Straits Times quoted the minister as saying.
In response to a different question about whether or not it will be attainable for a traveller to bypass restrictions by leaving India for an additional nation, earlier than nearly instantly flying to Singapore, Ong mentioned this might not be attainable as Singapore requires the traveller to spend 14 days outdoors of India.
Ong’s remarks got here after Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who’s co-chair of the duty power tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, mentioned final week the scenario in India had worsened.
He mentioned the stay-home discover (SHN) interval was not “100 per cent foolproof”, stressing that any leaks amongst newly arrived Indian staff may presumably introduce new strains into dormitories and end in new clusters.
Wong mentioned the momentary ban on arrivals from India would give Singapore time to watch the scenario and perceive the dangers.
The Ministry of Manpower, in response to queries in regards to the challenge of staff from India trying to bypass border restrictions to enter Singapore, mentioned it adjusts entry approvals dynamically, relying on the worldwide COVID-19 scenario and danger ranges of nations and areas that work cross holders come from.
“Approvals are staggered to manage the importation risk of COVID-19 cases. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our measures as necessary to balance public health interest and economic objectives,” mentioned the ministry.
The restrictions on travellers from India has reportedly hit the town state’s labour-intensive industries, particularly the development sector.
Construction companies will get extra flexibility to rent staff from China and extra time to finish public sector initiatives as a part of assist measures introduced on Monday, reported the Channel News Asia.
This is to mitigate the results of a ban on long-term cross holders and short-term guests from India after the nation recorded a spike in COVID-19 instances.
“This move impacts the flow of Indian workers into Singapore as well as companies in the construction sector that are dependent on them,” mentioned the Building & Construction Authority on Monday.
On Monday, India set a worldwide document for the rise in every day COVID-19 instances for a fifth straight day with 3,52,991 infections. The variety of COVID-19 deaths jumped to a document excessive of two,812 over the past 24 hours. PTI