SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore reported a significant spike in Covid-19 infections, with the number surging to 56,043 during the week of Dec 3 to 9.
This marks a staggering 75 per cent increase compared to the previous week’s tally of 32,035 cases, prompting heightened concerns among health officials.
MOH said that it will provide daily updates on Covid-19 figures starting Dec 19, as authorities intensify efforts to monitor and manage the situation.
MOH additionally mentioned that a significant majority of the Covid-19 cases in Singapore are attributed to infections by JN.1, a sublineage of BA.2.86.
Nevertheless, there is presently no conclusive evidence suggesting that BA.2.86 or JN.1 exhibit higher transmissibility or cause more severe illness compared to other prevalent variants.
MOH urges citizens to wear masks in crowded places
In response to the surge, MOH issued a public advisory on 15 December urging citizens to wear masks in crowded places, irrespective of their health status.
Emphasizing the importance of this precaution, especially indoors or around vulnerable individuals, they aim to curb the transmission of the virus within the community.
To accommodate the rising number of Covid-19 patients, MOH disclosed plans to open a second treatment facility at Singapore Expo Hall 10 over the upcoming weekend.
This facility, alongside the existing one at Crawfurd Hospital in Adam Road, will offer a combined capacity of over 80 beds. MOH assured that the new facility can be expanded if the need arises.
Additionally, hospitals are implementing measures to meet the surge in demand for beds.
“To preserve our healthcare capacity, MOH has been working with public hospitals for contingency planning, including ensuring adequate manpower and deferring of non-urgent electives to maximise bed capacity for urgent cases in need of acute care.” MOH said.
Previously, it was reported that the average daily hospitalization rate has risen sharply to 350 admission, a significant increase from the previous week’s 225.
In the week ending 9 December, the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) increased to 23 from nine the previous week, marking the highest weekly ICU admissions for the year. Overall, 763 patients were hospitalized due to Covid-19.
Public hospitals are also turning to other institutes, such as transitional care facilities, to house patients who are more stable
In light of the escalating situation, MOH also stressed the importance of responsible travel practices.
Travelers are advised to take precautions such as wearing masks at airports, purchasing travel insurance for potential overseas medical care, and avoiding crowded areas with poor ventilation.
Urging personal and social responsibility, MOH emphasized that individuals experiencing Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home until they recover and avoid contact with others.
MOH also urged the public to seek medical treatment at a hospital’s Emergency Department only for serious or life-threatening emergencies.
“This will preserve our hospital capacity for patients who truly need acute hospital care and allow those with severe illness to receive timely treatment,” the ministry said.
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