Will Circuit Breaker Extend Beyond May 4?



18 more days till May 4



We are more than 1/3 into Circuit Breaker (CB). At this stage, you will be wondering if May 4 will remain as the targeted ending date of CB. Before we answer that, let's be reminded why CB is needed in the first place.


Why Circuit Breaker is needed

  • To reduce the risk of big outbreak
  • To gradually bring our numbers down.
The Big Outbreak
Source: MOH

Apr 3: 1114
Apr 16 : 4427

On the day of the announcement, the numbers of confirmed cases stood at 1114. In less than 2 weeks, it quadruples to 4427 as of Apr 16. The risk of a big outbreak is no longer a risk but a reality. With the exploding numbers, a reopening of Singapore on May 4 is highly unlikely

Bringing down the numbers
Source: MOH

Even though the community outbreak remains stable. It is still a relatively high number at the mid thirties. Coupled that with the outbreak in dorms, it is not the time to rest the laurels


Cases are most likely pre CB


Most of the cases reported are likely to be infected pre CB. Given the large crowds at malls on the weekend when CB was announced, there is a possible spike in numbers for the next coming week. The effect of CB could not be assessed until week 3 or 4. If that is the case, the time lag would be too short to warrant a proper assessment of the overall situation before May 4.


Hospital Capacity


With the rise in numbers of active cases, the hospital capacity comes into questions. With 3rd Community Isolation set up in Changi Exhibition Center and more to come thereafter, it implies that the hospitals are probably near full capacity. The number of critical care would have to be watched closely as well in the event of a sharp increase in cases. 

The backlog of active cases needs to be reduced first before we can lift the CB. Lifting of CB would imply that we are ready to accept the next phase of infection. At this stage, we are probably stretched. Opening of schools and works will lead to more interaction and possibly more cases to load the healthcare system.


Manpower Shortage

The implication on Manpower as a result of the breakout in Foreign Workers Dormitories is a big concern. Not only resources are channelled to various locations around Singapore to handle the outbreak, the source of Manpower to maintain the city would be affected.

With a double whammy in Manpower Shortage, it might not be possible to run Singapore normally. That said, May 4 date looks harder to achieve unless we can stage a dramatic u-turn in confirmed cases for the coming days.


Will May 4 be the date?



So are we ready to lift the CB on May 4 and return to normalcy?

As of today, we think it would be near impossible as the basic criteria for the CB are not met. As of Day 11, there are still pockets of people that continue to either flout the laws or head to crowded areas. With this being the case, tougher measures may be implemented rather than relaxing the CB in the coming weeks. This would be apparent should local community cases spike.


There are caveats though if a miracle cure is found in between now and then, it will be a different ball game altogether. The other scenario is the quick arrest of spread in the dorms within the next few days. That would lead to a lower hospitalization rate in 2 weeks time.

Everyone, including us, wishes for CB to end on May 4.

If the numbers continue unabated, May 4 would just be a pipe dream, especially if active cases remain at a high number.


In the meantime, stay safe!






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