Is there anti-Semitism in Singapore

Singapore - late victim of the corona crisis

Now the corona virus has also hit Singapore. The government orders a lockdown. The Singaporeans, who are considered to belong to the authorities, revolt - a little.

The Southeast Asian city-state has so far been considered exemplary in the fight against the corona virus. For weeks there were only a handful of infected people per day, the schools remained open, the locals went to work and sat in pubs and restaurants.

Images that were perceived almost incredulously in Europe, while heads of state in Germany, France, Spain and Italy announced exit restrictions.

Singapore is reaching its limits

But now it is clear: Even the rich Singapore is reaching its limits; A nationwide lockdown has been in effect since Tuesday, which is euphemistically called "circuit breaker".

Now you can see images from Singapore that are similar to those of other big cities around the world: The luxury shopping mile Orchard Road - orphaned. Universal Studios amusement park on the offshore island of Sentosa - closed. At the Maxwell street market - the chairs folded up.

Drastic measures: nationwide lockdown

Singapore has never been seen like this. And for a long time the residents did not think it possible that the government could take such drastic measures. Because the total of almost 2,000 corona cases and six deaths sound relatively manageable with almost six million residents.

But how did it come to this? In early February, Singapore had the most infections outside of China, but daily Covid-19 cases were in the stable single-digit range.

Strict controls of possible virus carriers

Singapore closed its borders early on, tracking down possible carriers of the virus, so-called "tracing", is considered successful, and the quarantine is strict and is also strictly controlled.

"Singapore has by far followed one of the best approaches," says infectiologist Michael Osterholm of the Reuters news agency. But now it is becoming apparent, according to the University of Minnesota expert, how difficult it is to contain the virus.

Returnees import coronavirus

Because with the horror images from northern Italy and New York, little by little, more and more Singaporeans living abroad (especially in Great Britain and the USA) came back to their homeland - and brought the virus with them.

Suddenly the numbers rose and you could have a premonition that Singapore could also be hit hard. When the daily cases of infection were in the three-digit range last week and the Prime Minister gave a speech to the nation, the Singaporeans knew: Now it is getting serious.

Singapore threatens six months in prison and the equivalent of just under 7,000 euros fine

For four weeks, life in the city has come to a standstill, schools and shops are closed. All non-important businesses were closed. You are only allowed to go public with those people you live with. If your girlfriend or boyfriend lives elsewhere - bad luck.

The city-state, known for its draconian punishments, threatens six months' imprisonment and a fine of almost 7,000 euros if they are ignored. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appealed on Facebook to his compatriots to take the measures "very strictly".

New high number of Covid-19 infections reached

The official orders are bad enough for the locals that more devastating news broke in about them. Last Thursday, Singapore reported a new high of 287 Covid 19 infections.

The living quarters of foreign workers, especially from India and Bangladesh, are increasingly emerging as a focal point; The virus is rampant in the cramped rooms with up to 20 beds.

20,000 quarantined workers

Even the state-run daily newspaper "Straits Times" reported on overflowing toilets, cockroaches and poor washing facilities. The government has now quarantined 20,000 workers.

The Singaporeans are actually considered to belong to the authorities. But there is contradiction, quietly but clearly audible. Calvin Cheng, a former member of parliament, calls the orders "very draconian".

SARS-CoV-2 is spreading in the residential areas of workers

And Tommy Koh, diplomat and government adviser, describes the standard of accommodation for foreign workers as "not the first, but the third world". The workers are housed like sardines, criticizes Tommy Koh.

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But what's next? Is there even a threat of an extension of the lockdown? "Everything is possible in the interest of public health," says Walter Theseira, professor and member of parliament, to ZDF. "The spread in the living quarters of foreign workers is now our main problem. All other infections are not under control, but are predictable."

Because of Covid-19, athletes are monitored with drones

And the Singaporeans? You can do sports in the park. But so that not too many people get fresh air at the same time, the government uses drones to control access. Visiting the hairdresser is also permitted, but only a dry haircut. Washing and dyeing are prohibited. Singapore knows no mercy.

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