Singapore is hitting Covid-19 case levels not seen since the early days of the outbreak, putting the city-state's recent pledge to slowly open up and live with the virus to the test.
So far, they haven't blinked -- even as local infections surpass numbers reached when Singapore implemented its "circuit-breaker" shutdown in April 2020 and pushed cases so low that it became one of the stars of the Covid Zero approach to the pandemic. Previously, infection spikes like this were met with stringent restrictions like bans on indoor dining and closing gyms.
The country reported 450 cases of local infection on Thursday, while those who are seriously ill or in intensive care ticked up to 33 people, according to data by the health ministry.
A high rate of vaccination, Singapore is currently ranked seventh in the world, has helped contain hospitalizations and deaths. But those numbers are likely to climb in the weeks to come, as some early infections turn deadly.
Whether or not Singapore keeps to its reopening and normalization plan as the pathogen starts to circulate more widely will determine the future of the financial and business hub that has been considered a key entry point into Asia.