Finance Minister and co-chair Lawrence Wong thanked Singaporeans for their efforts in minimising social activities to stop further COVID-19 transmission but cautioned that the number of cases here will continue to rise.
"Unfortunately, despite our collective efforts, the virus continues to gain ground," he said.
Wong noted that the natural reproduction rate of the contagious Delta variant – if left unfettered without any safe management measures in place – is "easily around five or six".
"We were able to bring the reproduction rate...down to about 1.5. That's already a significant reduction," he said.
But even so, cases are still doubling every week or so, Wong stressed. "That's the reality – and to bring it further down requires a lot more effort."
At about 1,600 daily new cases currently, Singapore sees about 26 infections per 100,000 population per day.
While lower than what is experienced in the UK and the US, which are seeing about 40 to 50 cases per 100,000 population per day, it is "higher than many other European countries that have reached an equilibrium", such as Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, which are seeing about seven to 10 cases, Ong said.
"This is a possible reference point for us. If we carefully chart our way forward in this transition journey, we will see cases continuing to rise. At some point, it will turn before coming down and stabilising at a level that represents a new equilibrium," he added.
But this new level is likely to be much higher than what Singaporeans are used to, said Wong.
"In other words, we are not going back to a scenario of low daily cases anymore. It is not going to be possible because we are moving forward to learn to live with the virus and we are continuing with our reopening plans," he noted, later adding that authorities have no immediate plans to place Singapore under a lockdown or Heightened Alert restrictions.