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Singapore's upcoming leaders tested as COVID wave rattles public

PM hopefuls in tight spot between virus containment and vow to unchain economy

A sign encourages social distancing in Singapore in late September, as coronavirus cases rise.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The Singaporean government is fighting a relentless wave of COVID-19 infections, with daily cases topping 3,700 for the first time on Saturday despite a full vaccination rate above 80%. The crisis has ensnarled key ministers tipped as potential leadership candidates in a battle to manage public fears and expectations.

The city-state's long-term plan is to "live with" the coronavirus as an endemic disease like the flu, backed by widespread jabs. The vaccines are largely working as advertised, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday stressed that Singapore "must press on" with the strategy while taking precautions.

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