Singapore's first priority is its Covid-19 situation at home, says Minister for Foreign Affairs


Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday (Sept 25, 2021). - AFP

WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (The Straits Times/ANN): Singapore's first priority is to control the Covid-19 pandemic at home and ensure healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said.

The issue of relaxation of travel curbs with Asean is being actively discussed, he told The Straits Times on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday (Sept 25).

"For a start, we've got to settle mutual recognition of health certificates, vaccine certificates, that's in a sense making sure our digital systems, our ability to verify records, are in place," Dr Balakrishnan said.

"The second step is to actually decide when and how we can actually liberalise and allow travel. This is a much more difficult point, because even in the case of Singapore, these decisions whether to open or tighten depend very much on the domestic situation at that point in time."

"Right now is the time to be careful," he added.

He said the Singapore Government has had to introduce more measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country, to not overload its medical facilities.

"It's a domestic priority to get to grips with the situation, and then as we can, to also look at the careful reopening of our borders, especially for Singaporeans who want to return home or... business partners who want to visit Singapore," Dr Balakrishnan said.

"But I want to emphasise again, priority No. 1 must remain the protection of Singaporeans, ensuring our healthcare facilities do not get overwhelmed, and then, when we are sure we have that in place, then sequentially, safely, carefully open up our borders."

"We are not out of the woods yet", both in Singapore and globally, he added. - The Straits Times/ANN

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: -1
Cxense type: NA
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Singapore , Covid-19 , Priority , People , Safe , Minister , Speech , UN

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Heavy rains and floods leave three dead in Vietnam
Singapore billionaire and Ronaldo try to marry football and tech
Moody’s upbeat on IOI outlook, riding on earnings’ growth, higher CPO prices
Myanmar junta chief says committed to restoring peace, democracy
Foxconn bullish on electric vehicle prospects as it shows off three prototypes
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan pays for son’s jail canteen expenses
India to move some migrant workers in Kashmir to army camps after killings
'Running out of time': Asia struggles to kick coal addiction
China's economy stumbles on power crunch and property woes
Bitcoin hovers near 6-month high on ETF hopes, inflation worries

Others Also Read


Vouchers