(Bloomberg) -- Singapore stocks rose Monday amid comments from the city-state’s finance minister that the country is committed to reopening, and that recently reimposed curbs are to ensure the health system can handle an increased number of daily cases. 

“Our overall strategy has not changed,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin. “We are committed to reopening our economy and our society progressively, but our aim has always been to do this without putting too much stress on our hospital system. We want to keep our health care system intact and under control, and we want to avoid unnecessary deaths.”

The Straits Times Index rose as much as 1.5%, before easing to a gain of 1.3% as of 11:21 a.m. local time. Meanwhile the broader regional MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.4%.

Wong, who’s also co-chair of the country’s virus task force, said reopening can proceed once the health care system is bolstered. He also said the city-state is in talks with other countries about expanding vaccinated travel lanes, possibly this year, as such easing happens. 

Related stories:

  • Sept. 24, Singapore Returns to Work-From-Home as Covid Cases Surge
  • Sept. 25, Singapore to Spend S$650 Million in Virus Aid as Curbs Tightened

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