Singapore faces new COVID-19 wave, 25,900 cases reported in a week, masks advisory issued

Singapore is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19, as authorities recorded more than 25,900 cases from May 5 to 11. The cases are nearly doubling week-on-week. The government has issued a health advisory asking people to wear masks again

Written By Livemint
First Published18 May 2024
Singapore COVID-19: The estimated number of COVID-19 infections in the week of May 5 to 11 rose to 25,900 – a 90% increase compared with the 13,700 cases in the previous week
Singapore COVID-19: The estimated number of COVID-19 infections in the week of May 5 to 11 rose to 25,900 – a 90% increase compared with the 13,700 cases in the previous week

Singapore is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19, as authorities recorded more than 25,900 cases from May 5 to 11. The cases are nearly doubling week-on-week. The government has issued a health advisory asking people to wear masks again, news agency PTI reported.

The estimated number of COVID-19 infections in the week of May 5 to 11 rose to 25,900 – a 90% increase compared with the 13,700 cases in the previous week, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The average daily COVID-19 hospitalisations rose to about 250 from 181 the week before, the MOH added.

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“We are at the beginning part of the wave where it is steadily rising,” said Ong. “So, I would say the wave should peak in the next two to four weeks, which means between mid- and end of June,” Singapore daily The Straits Times quoted Health Minister Ong Ye Kung as saying.

The health ministry said that the average daily number of intensive care cases remained low at three compared to two the previous week.

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“MOH is closely tracking the trajectory of this wave,” the ministry said.

The health ministry further said that to protect hospital bed capacity; the public hospitals have been asked to reduce their non-urgent elective surgery cases and move suitable patients to transitional care facilities or back home through Mobile Inpatient Care@Home, an alternative inpatient care delivery model that offers clinically suitable patients the option of being hospitalised in their own homes instead of a hospital ward.

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Urging people not to seek treatment at a hospital’s Emergency Department if their symptoms are mild or if they have no medical vulnerabilities, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung asked the elderly persons, medically vulnerable individuals and residents of aged care facilities to receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not done so in the last 12 months.

“If the number of COVID-19 cases doubles one-time, Singapore will have 500 patients in its healthcare system, which is what Singapore can handle. However, if the number of cases doubles a second time, there will be 1,000 patients, and “that will be a considerable burden on the hospital system”, PTI quoted the health minister as saying.

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He said there are no plans for social restrictions or other mandatory measures for now, as COVID-19 is treated as an endemic disease in Singapore, and imposing additional measures would be a last resort.

Globally, the predominant COVID-19 variants are still JN.1 and its sub-lineages, including KP.1 and KP.2. Currently, KP.1 and KP.2 account for over two-thirds of cases in Singapore.

Early this month, the World Health Organisation classified KP.2 as a variant under monitoring. There are currently no indications, globally or locally, that KP.1 and KP.2 are more transmissible or cause more severe disease than other circulating variants.

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