PM Lee to give Covid-19 update in a speech at 5pm today

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will address the nation at 5pm today to give an update on the Covid-19 situation and the outlook for next year.

The co-chairs of the ministerial task force tackling the pandemic - Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Education Minister Lawrence Wong - will hold a press conference immediately after, he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

"It's been some time since my last address on Covid-19," Mr Lee wrote. "But please stay calm - no need to stock up on anything!"

His speech will be streamed live on his Facebook page, as well as on television and radio channels.

Two coronavirus-related topics have been making headlines in recent months.

The first is the coronavirus vaccine, with more than 200 vaccine candidates being developed worldwide. Singapore has been monitoring the progress of vaccine development and has taken steps to secure a portfolio of vaccines.

The other hot topic is phase three of Singapore's reopening.

Mr Wong has said three conditions must first be met for the country to move to phase three: a 70 per cent TraceTogether take-up rate, safe management compliance and sufficient testing capabilities.

On Friday, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office said in a forum letter that "more than 60 per cent" of Singapore residents are currently on the TraceTogether programme.

Over the course of this year, PM Lee has addressed the nation several times, to lay out Singapore's plan to tackle the pandemic.

In his first such address on Feb 8, he urged Singaporeans to stay resolute in the face of what was then a new and relatively unknown virus.

Just over a month later, he warned that more stringent measures might have to be taken, as the Covid-19 pandemic looked set to continue for some time.

This was followed by his announcement of the circuit breaker on April 3.

Mr Lee subsequently addressed the nation on several other occasions. - THE STRAITS TIMES