SDP has an 8-point plan to exit the pandemic and it includes not testing asymptomatic vaccinated people outside of contact tracing. This will definitely bring down the daily count of cases overnight and make people feel happy at the lower counts.
But it does not change the ground reality. What it means is that asymptomatic people will continue to move around in the community, silently infecting unsuspecting people as they go about their activities.
Asymptomatic vaccinated people are detected through Routine Rostered Testing (RRT) where people working in high-risk environments are required to do a swab every 7 or 14 days. They are also detected through surveillance screening such as when they received a Health Risk Warning(HRW) alert, or when they are invited to get tested because they had visited a place frequented by covid-19-positive cases.
SDP’s suggestion not to test for asymptomatic vaccinated people outside of contact tracing means doing away with regular testing for people working in high-risk environments, or those working with vulnerable people (like nursing homes).
The suggestion will bring Singapore to the endemic state faster but at a higher cost to human lives. Already with the current cautious approach, Singapore has seen deaths every day for the past few days. Yesterday saw 5 deaths, the highest number of deaths a day so far, all of whom are seniors.
The total number of cases in Singapore stands at 91,775 today. Even given that many asymptomatic cases escape detection, it is safe to assume that less than 10% of the population has been exposed to the virus. In fact, before the Delta variant took over, Singapore had almost zero cases of COVID-19.
The SDP’s approach is to allow the virus to spread freely through the community. The PAP government’s approach is to have a ‘controlled’ transmission that will not overwhelm the healthcare system so that timely care can be given to every sick person who needs it and to prevent avoidable deaths.