Is the Circuit Breaker Working? A Look at the Community Spread from Day 1 of CB



Apr 7 marks the first day of Circuit Breaker



As we know, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Singapore exploded from 1481 on Apr 7 to 6588 as of Apr 19. In 13 days, we had seen an increase of a whopping 5107 cases.

Lest we get paranoid with the numbers, most of the increase was associated with Dormitories Clusters. With some dormitories gazetted as isolation areas and restriction of movements including Stay Home Notice implemented in other areas, the spread of the virus looks likely to subside in the coming weeks.



What we are keen to explore would be the spread on the wider community outside of the dorms. Do note that MOH only segregated the numbers of dorms and community in recent days. Thus, the figures may be skewed for the earlier days. All numbers reflected are from MOH website.

Community Spread 

Here is a look at the breakdown of Community Spread in Singapore for the past 2 weeks.
Source MOH

Total Link and Unlink Community cases ex Dorms and Work Permit Holders outside Dorms
Dates
Community ex Dorms
Apr 5
43
Apr 6
24
Circuit Breaker Starts

Apr 7
38
Apr 8
58
Apr 9
45
Apr 10
42
Apr 11
27
Apr 12
26
Apr 13
38
Apr 14
40
Apr 15
37
Apr 16
26
Apr 17
26
Apr 18
22
Circuit Breaker Total
372




What do the numbers mean?
Source:MOH

Although the overall numbers had been reduced for the past few days, it is still too early to make a call if the CB is working. Yesterday (Ape19), the community spread increase to 30.On a weekly count, the average numbers remain within a similar range. To truly assess it as a success, the numbers would have to be significantly lower on a weekly basis.

Moreover, we think the numbers are assessed should be more conservative. It should include Work Permit Holders living outside dorms as they would still pose a risk to the larger community given that they were free to move around. If that is added, it will show a rising trend and not a flattening curve.

For the record, construction workers with Work Permit will be required to stay home from Today onwards till May 4.


The Battles continue
We are halfway through the circuit breaker. Without a major decline in numbers, it would not be possible to predict if CB will end on May 4.  Moreover, reports on the falling numbers for community spread might give rise to complacency as seen by the droves of people in Supermarkets.

To truly make it work for the next 2 weeks, we really need to change our mindset. If we are not prepared to hunker down during the next 14 days, we would be looking at a much longer period than any of us would want. It is day 14, but we still hear of stories of couples secretly meeting, neighbours throwing gathering, people exercising together. It may not be as frequent as before, but it is still happening.

Everyone makes a difference. Let's see if the collective efforts pay off or would it be disrupted by the few.




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