Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wants to push on with the strategy of living with Covid-19 without being paralyzed by fear, weighing in on a divisive issue about the pace of opening up a trade-reliant economy with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. 

Lee said in a televised address that Singapore can’t stay “locked down and closed off indefinitely,” but at the same time there will “quite many Covid-19-cases for some time to come.” He used the 24-minute speech on Saturday to call for unity for the next few months and address a split in wider society between keeping Covid-zero measures in place and reopening quickly in step with other advanced economies. 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks to a health worker at a Covid-19 test site set up at a Housing & Development Board (HDB) public housing estate in the Ang Mo Kio area of Singapore on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Faced with a surge of cases from clusters related to karaoke lounges and a fishery port, authorities announced tighter controls, including a stoppage of eating at restaurants until Aug. 18.

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