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Hong Kong (CNN)--Less than a month ago, Singapore was being hailed as one of the countries that had got its coronavirus response right.

香港(CNN)--不到一个月前,新加坡被誉为应对新冠最佳的国家之一。

Encouragingly for the rest of the world, the city-state seemed to have suppressed cases without imposing the restrictive lockdown measures endured by millions elsewhere.

对世界其他地区来说它很令人鼓舞,因为这个城市国家似乎已经抑制住了病例,并且没有实施其他地方数百万人所忍受的限制性封锁措施。

And then the second wave hit, hard. Since March 17, Singapore''s number of confirmed coronavirus cases grew from 266 to over 5,900, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

然而之后第二波疫情冲击猛烈。根据约翰霍普金斯大学的数据,自3月17日以来,新加坡确诊的冠状病毒病例从266例增加到5900多例。



Life as normal

一切照常

At first, Singapore''s status as a small island nation seemed to pay off.

一开始,新加坡作为一个小岛屿国家的身份似乎得到了回报。

It was able to contain the initial wave of cases from China by instituting quarantines and contact tracing to ensure that anyone arriving by air, who might have been exposed, was isolated and monitored.

它能够通过建立隔离和接触追踪来控制最初一波病例,以确保任何乘飞机抵达的人——可能暴露于病毒的——都被隔离和监测。

At the same time, it ramped up public awareness campaigns to encourage people to take precautions. Isolation wards installed in hospitals in the wake of the 2003 SARS epidemic also meant that patients were treated in the safest way possible, preventing medical staff from becoming infected.

同时,它还加强了公众宣传活动,鼓励人们采取预防措施。2003年非典爆发后,医院设置了隔离病房,这也意味着病人得到了最安全的治疗,防止医务人员感染。

Most importantly, wrote Dale Fisher, chair of infection control at the National University of Singapore''s hospital in an opinion piece: "Singapore didn''t let positive patients back into the community."

最重要的是,新加坡国立大学医院感染控制主任戴尔·费舍尔在一篇评论文章中写道:“新加坡没有让阳性患者重返社区。”

People with few or no symptoms, but who had nevertheless tested positive for the virus were hospitalized until they returned a negative test, rather than put in home quarantine, Fisher said.

费舍尔说,症状很少或没有症状,但病毒检测呈阳性的人都被住院治疗,直到他们呈现检测阴性,而不是让他们在家隔离。

By testing widely and isolating all those who were potentially contagious, Singapore was able to remain relatively open and continue functioning as usual.

通过广泛测试和隔离所有有潜在传染性的人,新加坡得以保持相对开放,继续照常运作。

"In Singapore, we want life to go on as normal," Fisher wrote last month, before the latest spike in cases. "We want businesses, churches, restaurants and schools to stay open. This is what success looks like. Everything goes forward with modifications as needed, and you keep doing this until there''s a vaccine or a treatment."

“在新加坡,我们希望生活能正常进行,”费舍尔上个月在最新病例激增之前写道。“我们希望企业、教堂、餐馆和学校继续营业。这就是成功看起来的样子。一切都会根据需求进行修改,你一直这样做,直到有疫苗或治疗。”

That approach stood in stark contrast to Hong Kong: another Asian self-governed city with a similar size population. In Hong Kong, public schools have been closed since February and government employees were encouraged to work from home, though people still traveled around the city relatively freely. New measures were also introduced following an increase in imported cases last month.

这种做法与香港形成鲜明对比:另一个拥有类似人口规模的亚洲自治城市。在香港,公立学校自二月开始关闭,政府雇员被鼓励在家工作,尽管人们仍然相对自由地在城市里四处游逛。继上个月进口病例增加后,政府也出台了新措施。

Hong Kong has been much more successful in dealing with a second wave.

香港在应对第二波浪潮方面取得了更大的成功。



The more relaxed attitude taken in Singapore compared to other countries was only viable if infections from overseas were kept out, and new potential cases were detected and dealt with quickly.

与其他国家相比,新加坡采取的更为宽松的态度只有在排除来自海外的感染,并迅速发现和处理新的潜在病例的情况下才是可行的。

Once this measure failed, the speed at which the virus could pass from person to person was greater than it would be in a place with heavy lockdown and social distancing measures.

一旦这项措施失败,病毒在人与人之间传播的速度要比在一个有严格封锁和社会疏远措施的地方传播的速度快。

Many of the new clusters have been connected to Singapore''s vast migrant worker population, in particular those workers -- most from South Asia -- living in cramped dormitories, who appear to have been overlooked in the initial wave of testing. Multiple dormitories have been quarantined and the government is ramping up testing for all workers.

许多新的集群都与新加坡庞大的外来务工人口有关,特别是那些居住在狭小宿舍里的工人——大多数来自南亚——在最初的测试浪潮中似乎被忽视了。多间宿舍已被隔离,政府正在加大对所有工人的检测力度。

It''s unclear whether those infections were from migrant workers coming in from outside, or if the virus was circulating among the largely-untested population for some time. What is evident is that the conditions that workers live in made effective social distancing -- or "home" quarantine -- next to impossible, making it easy for the virus to spread.

目前尚不清楚这些感染是来自外来务工人员,还是病毒在大部分未经检测的人群中传播了一段时间。显而易见的是,工人们居住的环境使得有效的社会隔离——或者“居家隔离“——近乎不可能,使得病毒很容易传播。

"The dormitories were like a time bomb waiting to explode," Tommy Koh, a Singapore lawyer and former diplomat, wrote in a widely-shared Facebook post earlier this month. "The way Singapore treats its foreign workers is not First World but Third World. The government has allowed their employers to transport them in flat bed trucks with no seats. They stay in overcrowded dormitories and are packed likes sardines with 12 persons to a room."

新加坡律师、前外交官汤米·柯本月早些时候在Facebook上的一篇博文中写道:“员工宿舍就像一枚等待爆炸的定时炸弹。”新加坡对待外国工人的方式不是第一世界,而是第三世界。政府允许他们的雇主用没有座位的平板卡车运送他们。他们住在人满为患的宿舍里,挤得像沙丁鱼一样,12人一间。”

Koh added that "Singapore should treat this as a wake up call to treat our indispensable foreign workers like a First World country should and not in the disgraceful way in which they are treated now."

柯还说,“新加坡应该把这当作一个警钟,把我们不可或缺的外国工人用第一世界国家的方式来对待,而不是像现在这样不光彩地对待他们。”

Since the recent spike in cases, Singapore has instituted what the government is calling a "circuit breaker," a package of restrictions and new rules, combined with harsh punishments, designed to stymie the new wave of cases and allow the city to get its outbreak back under control.

自最近病例激增以来,新加坡政府开始实施所谓的“断路器”(circuit breaker),一系列限制措施和新规定,再加上严厉的惩罚,旨在阻止新一波病例的发生,并使该市疫情得到控制。

Singapore has a good chance of getting things under control, thanks again to its small size, strong government, and well-funded healthcare system. But the recent spike in cases in Singapore has lessons for the rest of the world.

新加坡仍有一个很高的机会让疫情得到控制,多亏了它的小体量,强大的政府和资金充足的医疗体系。但新加坡最近的病例激增,给世界其他地区带来了教训。

No time to relax

没时间放松了

Both Singapore and Hong Kong were only able to maintain relative normality while they kept a tight lid on potential imported infections. Once a wave of cases did arrive from overseas, both had to react quickly to prevent a new epidemic.

新加坡和香港都能保持相对正常,同时对潜在的进口感染保持严格的控制。一旦有一波病例从海外传入,双方都必须迅速作出反应,以防止新的爆发。

Hong Kong was able to do this more easily because the city has never completely relaxed, while Singapore has been forced to institute the "circuit breaker," and it remains to be seen how successful that will be.

香港能够更容易地做到这一点,因为这个城市从未完全放松,而新加坡已经被迫建立“断路器”,我们还需拭目以待看它会有多成功。

But this relax-tighten-relax approach to coronavirus restrictions is only really viable in places like Hong Kong and Singapore, where the population size is small enough to be managemable and the specific geography enables authorities to maintain a tight control on who comes in and out, and track their movements if necessary. Hong Kong in particular has instituted mandatory quarantines for those arriving from overseas since mid March.

但是,这种总体放松针对性强的冠状病毒限制方法只在香港和新加坡这样的地方是切实可行的,因为那里的人口规模足够小,易于管理,特定的地理位置使得当局能够严格控制出入境者,并在必要时跟踪他们的行动。尤其是香港从3月中旬以来强制隔离所有从海外入境的人员。



As Singapore''s experience shows, relaxing too soon can backfire disastrously.

新加坡的经验表明,过早放松可能适得其反。