Singapore Witnesses Surge in COVID-19 Cases, Health Minister Issues Advisory

Sun May 19 2024
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SINGAPORE: Singapore has been grappling with the impact of a new wave of COVID-19 infections as authorities have recorded more than 25,900 cases earlier this month, Newsweek reported.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung issued an advisory, urging residents to wear face masks again as a precautionary measure. “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.”

The Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed that the estimated number of COVID-19 cases in the week of May 5 to 11 surged to 25,900 cases, compared to 13,700 cases in the previous week.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 also witnessed an increase, with the average daily hospitalizations rising to about 250 from 181 the week before. Despite this, the average daily intensive care unit (ICU) cases remained relatively low at three cases, compared to two cases in the previous week.

In response to the surge, public hospitals have been instructed to reduce non-urgent elective surgery cases to safeguard hospital bed capacity, as per the MOH.

Minister Ong emphasized the importance of protecting people at greatest risk of severe disease, including those aged 60 years and above, and medically vulnerable individuals. He also urged 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.

Highlighting the potential strain on the healthcare system, Ong cautioned that if the number of COVID-19 cases doubles, Singapore could face a considerable burden. “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,” he stated.

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