SINGAPORE: China’s reopening of borders is unlikely to lead to a severe wave of COVID-19 infections in Singapore even as more tourists are expected to visit, according to infectious diseases experts.
The virus strains circulating in China are already present in Singapore, said Professor Paul Tambyah, president of the International Society of Infectious Diseases.
“It is unlikely that there will be a spike in cases in Singapore related to visitor arrivals from China,” he told CNA.
Even if infections increase, the population in Singapore is relatively protected because of high vaccination rates, said Professor Dale Fisher of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
“There is a lot of transmission in all countries already so while there will be imported cases, at most it will lead to a surge in mild cases as Singapore residents are well vaccinated and most people have been infected already,” said Prof Fisher, who is also senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases in the National University Hospital.
From Jan 8 (Sunday), China will lift mandatory quarantines on those arriving in the country, leading to increased interest in travel, including to Singapore.
About 3.6 million Chinese residents visited Singapore in 2019, making up nearly 19 per cent of visitor arrivals that year, the largest contributor of tourists.