Get Covid-19 vaccinations, be vigilant amid CNY celebrations: PM Lee , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Get Covid-19 vaccinations, be vigilant amid CNY celebrations: PM Lee

Stay vigilant against Covid-19 amid the festive celebrations, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his Chinese New Year message on Saturday.

He also called on Singaporeans to cherish family time and make it a greater priority.

PM Lee said that while celebrations can fully resume, people must continue to look out for one another and exercise social responsibility.

He noted that Singapore’s Covid-19 situation remains stable but that new variants may yet emerge that bring unexpected challenges.

He asked Singaporeans to do antigen rapid self-tests when needed, especially before visiting elderly relatives, and to stay home if they test positive or feel unwell.

“Most importantly, keep your vaccinations up to date, including with the latest bivalent vaccines. This is still the best protection against Covid-19,” he said.

He added: “Let us not forget the hard work and sacrifices of those fighting at the front line against Covid-19, and keeping Singapore going. We have thus far maintained our Covid-19 posture, while watching external pandemic trends warily.”

PM Lee said the shared Covid-19 experience has made people appreciate their families and loved ones better.

“Families are at the core of our social compact, and strong families are central to a stable, resilient society,” he said, noting that 2022 had been dedicated as the year of celebrating families in Singapore.

He hinted at further changes to be announced in the coming months that will step up support for parents.

Noting that even though Singapore’s total fertility rate dipped in 2022, PM Lee said he was heartened that many young people still see marriage and parenthood as important life goals.

He said the Government would continue to help parents manage the pressures of raising children and give each child a good start.

For example, fees at government-supported pre-schools were lowered from January 2023.

“So, to all our couples, do your best in this Year of the Rabbit!” said PM Lee.

He also noted that the Government had introduced plans for “A Singapore Made for Families 2025”, with programmes and initiatives to catalyse the whole of society to support families through all phases of life.

“We can all do our part to build a society where every family is valued and supported,” said PM Lee, calling on companies to institute flexible work arrangements and to cultivate a more encouraging workplace culture.

He added: “Community partners can pool resources to celebrate and uplift families. Individuals, too, should cherish family time and make it a greater priority.”

He also wished all Singaporeans good health and a happy Chinese New Year.

“I am sure this year’s festivities will be especially meaningful for many. The lohei will be tossed extra high, cheers of ‘huat ah’ will be extra loud, and family gatherings extra joyous.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong wished all Singaporeans good health and a happy Chinese New Year. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

President Halimah Yacob, in her Chinese New Year message on Friday, also called for vigilance against Covid-19 amid the festivities, as she wished everyone an abundant and prosperous Chinese New Year.

Noting that the Istana grounds will be opened to visitors on the second day of Chinese New Year, she said she was glad Singaporeans can once again enjoy the full festive atmosphere.

Madam Halimah added that the festive period is a “wonderful time for families to celebrate together, renew ties and show their appreciation for their loved ones”.

“Families form the bedrock of our society, and I am happy that the institution of family is doing well here,” she said.

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2023Lee Hsien Loongcovid-19