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.
While in the worst-hit countries of western Europe and in the US, thousands of cases are being reported every day, Singapore has a population of 5.7 million people and a total area of around 700 square kilometers -- it is smaller than New York City -- meaning those numbers are more significant.
But Singapore also has advantages that many larger countries don't. It only has one major land border, with Malaysia, and can keep a tight control on people entering by air. It also has a world-class health system and a propensity for somewhat draconian rules and policing that can benefit a government when trying to control a pandemic.
So what went wrong?