As Singapore’s coronavirus infections tick up, the government is tightening restrictions. It’s also fighting vaccine hesitancy on social media — by ordering corrections and posting whimsical content.
Singapore said on Tuesday that it had recorded 64 cases of community transmission over the past week, up from 11 cases the previous week. Seven of the recent cases were caused by the B.1.617 variant that has wreaked havoc in India, according to the authorities.
In an effort to tamp down the latest outbreak and prevent variants from spreading, the Singaporean government said on Tuesday that travelers arriving from most countries must quarantine for 21 days at “dedicated facilities,” up from 14 days, starting on Saturday.
Mass sporting events are also set to be suspended and social gatherings will be capped at five people until May 30, among other restrictions.
according to a New York Times database.
But Singapore’s vaccination campaign has been threatened by falsehoods spreading on social media — for example, a rumor that Covid-19 vaccines cause strokes and heart attacks.
The Health Ministry has debunked rumors and ordered corrections to social media posts that endorse false or unsubstantiated claims about vaccine side effects. (That is allowed under a contentious law that the government says is designed to fight fake news.)
The government has also commissioned a whimsical music video by a Singaporean pop-culture heavyweight, comedian and actor, Gurmit Singh, that addresses common vaccine concerns and misconceptions.