The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected Singapore’s economy and its population. As a small, open economy, the city-state is highly dependent on international trade and cross-border flows of people. The pandemic has disrupted these flows and tested policymakers to rethink balanced strategy and policy to keep its economy afloat and protect its residents’ livelihoods. Despite the massive economic impact of the pandemic, Singapore’s measured response to COVID-19 has been recognised internationally as one of the gold standards. Lesson learned from Singapore shows that beyond the quality of public health infrastructure, state and institutional capacity are critical factors determining the success of containment measures in response to a pandemic. Moreover, the effectiveness of pandemic control measures also depends on public awareness and trust in the government. Public compliance with rules and restrictions on movement and general hygiene has made efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus more effective. Finally, sustained economic recovery is also dependent on the successful control of COVID-19 globally. The risk of further economic disruptions to Singapore remains high unless all other countries can bring the pandemic under control.