PETALING JAYA: Several countries around the world have started preparing their citizens to live with the virus.
In June, Singapore’s Covid-19 task force began drawing up a road map to transit to the “new normal”.
In India, Sujeet Singh, the director of the country’s National Centre for Disease Control, told news broadcaster NDTV on Sept 16 that the virus was expected to become endemic there within the next six months.
Sujeet said he believed that while infections would remain in the population, it would become more manageable and would be easier on the country’s healthcare infrastructure.
In Europe, Denmark lifted all its Covid-19 restrictions and returned to pre-pandemic norms, thanks to a high vaccination rate as well as strong epidemic controls.
The United Kingdom lifted all its legal restrictions on July 19, leaving only some guidance in place.
It also relaxed restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers from other countries, including Malaysia, so they do not need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test or quarantine for 10 days after arriving in England.
However, this is only applicable to those vaccinated with the Astrazeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and they are still required to book and pay for a Covid-19 test on the second day after their arrival.
However, not all governments are convinced their countries are ready to move on to the endemic phase.
The Hong Kong government aims to achieve zero local infections, with strict border controls in place.
Israel, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, reinstated several restrictions after a spike in cases caused by the Delta variant.