What is the state animal of Singapore

Corona: Singapore of two faces

Empty hotels and orphaned tourist hotspots: The Corona crisis is also hitting Singapore's economy hard. But the virus seems far away in people's everyday lives.

The East Asian city-state of Singapore is successfully fighting the corona pandemic. So far, 313 cases are known - no one has died from the virus.

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They queue up, order Maggi Goreng, sheep meat and roti prata. Mohamed Halid's booth in Everton Court street market in the heart of Singapore is buzzing at lunchtime. Employees, employees of the nearby hospital and local residents sit close together at the tables. Hardly anyone wears a face mask. The corona crisis seems far away, and the outbreak of the epidemic has also hit Singapore hard economically. Visitors stay away, the hotels are empty.

"But I don't notice anything," says Mohamed Halid, who stands in front of his shop every day wearing a Liverpool FC shirt. "Although there are no more tourists coming, they are irrelevant." He has been selling Muslim Indian food for 14 years. And at least for him, the coronavirus is far away.

City-state took action early and tough on Corona

Just over 380 corona cases have so far been counted in the Southeast Asian city-state. That is relatively little with just under six million inhabitants. The fact that there are not much more so far has to do with the peculiarities of Singapore. Because the autocratically run city-state took action early and tough.

The body temperature of travelers has been measured at Changi Airport for weeks, in offices, shopping centers and cinemas as well. Chinese residents have been banned from entering the country since the beginning of February - an order that has also applied to Germans, French, Spaniards and Italians since last week.

Singapore has learned from the Sars epidemic

If the authorities have tested people positive for the coronavirus, they go to great lengths to find their contacts and isolate those affected. Even criminologists help with the search.

Our experience with the Sars epidemic 17 years ago has now helped us with contact tracing.
Jeremy Lim, health professional

The professor at the "National University Singapore" adds that the situation is serious, but the government has it under control.

A look at the everyday life of the locals proves him right. Shopping malls and restaurants are open and well attended, and schools should start teaching again from Monday - after a one-week vacation.

Rigorous controls in Singapore

Nevertheless, there is currently a Singapore of two faces. Because the tourist hotspots around Marina Bay Sands, the city's landmark, are deserted. No wonder, because since this morning all travelers have to be in house quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

A quick jog around the bay or a stroll along the Orchard Road shopping mile - returnees should avoid that. Employees of the local authorities meticulously check whether you are in your own four walls.

At the airport, visitors have to give a number under which they can be reached by video phone in the next two weeks. If you fail to hear the ringing, you have to face the consequences. Singapore has already expelled some foreigners with work permits who have broken the rules immediately.

Singapore's government strives for transparency

What about the government? She provides daily, extremely transparent information, figures the cases and indicates where they occurred. The Singaporeans are downright inconceivably obedient and obedient by Western standards. They are now almost stoic about the latest restriction: the city-state has banned travel since Thursday.

However, Walter Theseira does not want to speak of a comfortable prison.

A second wave is rolling towards us with imported cases from Singaporeans returning from abroad.
Walter Theseira, professor and member of parliament

"Still, I don't think we will impose a curfew," said the university professor, who is also in parliament. Walter Theseira refers to the country's island location and the latest travel restrictions, including those of the neighboring state of Malaysia.

Because the big neighbor in the north has closed the borders with Singapore. The more than 300,000 commuters who live in Malaysia and work in Singapore are particularly affected. You have now taken short-term vacation or your employers have found accommodation for you in Singapore. But will the border be reopened after 14 days? Nobody knows.

People in Singapore are mostly relaxed

The Singaporeans take it easy for the most part. The thoughts of Mohamed Halid, the burly, friendly food seller, do not revolve around the virus. Whether his business is suffering or not, whether more Corona cases will flood Singapore - all of this is of secondary importance to him.

"The main thing is that the Premier League is played to the end this season and we are finally champions again. Only two more wins," said Mohamed. For fans of Liverpool FC there is only one nightmare at the moment - that his club is empty-handed so close to the great success of the league table. "That would be a disaster," he says. He's not grinning.

We will keep you up to date on current developments in the Corona crisis in our live blog:

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