July 15, 2024

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Singapore Braces for New Wave of COVID-19: Reopens Facilities and Boosts Precautions

Singapore Braces for New Wave of COVID-19: Reopens Facilities and Boosts Precautions



Singapore Braces for New Wave of COVID-19: Reopens Facilities and Boosts Precautions.

The resurgence of COVID-19 prompts Singapore to reopen “community care facilities” and resume daily pandemic reporting. Symptoms of the newly identified JN.1 variant include high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose, diarrhea, and severe headaches.

Singapore, which had previously declared its intention to “coexist with the virus,” is now facing a fierce wave of new COVID-19 infections. From December 3 to 9, Singapore reported 56,043 new cases, accounting for approximately 1% of the total population.

This marks the highest weekly increase in infections this year, with hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions also on the rise.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the resumption of daily pandemic updates starting December 19.

Dr. Leong Ho Nam, an infectious disease expert in Singapore, stated that compared to the initial appearance of the Omicron variant, the current wave of infections is “more than twice as bad,” suggesting that the actual number of cases may be much higher than officially reported.

To alleviate the strain on healthcare facilities, Singapore has activated two “COVID-19 treatment facilities,” similar to the setup of community care facilities. These facilities currently accommodate over 80 patients each, with plans to expand to over 100 beds if necessary.

In response to the increasing cases, Singaporeans are rushing to purchase COVID-19 self-test kits, cough syrup, fever reducers, and vitamin C effervescent tablets. Traditional Chinese medicine, particularly herbal teas, has seen a 20% surge in sales. Some businesses involved in mask distribution report a 20% increase in orders.

Residents share their recent infection or re-infection experiences on social media. Many report symptoms such as high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, and runny nose. The MOH advises the public to wear masks in crowded places, even without symptoms, as the number of new infections has been rapidly increasing for three consecutive weeks.

Singapore Braces for New Wave of COVID-19: Reopens Facilities and Boosts Precautions

The MOH emphasizes that Singapore no longer routinely mandates COVID-19 testing, making reported case numbers an incomplete reflection of the actual situation. The dominant variant in Singapore is JN.1, but there is no evidence suggesting increased transmissibility or greater severity. Factors contributing to the recent surge include waning immunity, increased holiday travel, and greater community interaction.

Anticipating a strain on medical resources, Singapore is actively monitoring and adjusting its healthcare capacity. Some public hospitals have reached nearly 95% bed occupancy. The MOH collaborates with public hospitals to enhance bed capacity and has activated two dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities at Crawford Hospital and the Singapore Expo.

As a precaution, the MOH urges the population to get vaccinated with booster shots, citing lower hospitalization rates among those who have received boosters. Data from July 1 to November 30 shows a 1.6 times higher risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes for those not receiving booster shots.

Several Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia, are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Malaysia reported a 62.2% increase in new cases from December 10 to 16, while Indonesia reinstated temperature checks at major entry points.

In summary, the reemergence of COVID-19 in Singapore has prompted increased preventive measures, a surge in demand for medical supplies, and concerns about healthcare capacity. The situation reflects a broader trend in the region, with neighboring countries also grappling with rising infection numbers.

Singapore Braces for New Wave of COVID-19: Reopens Facilities and Boosts Precautions

References:

1.www.moh.gov.sg

2. The number of hospitalized cases of coronavirus is stable and the hospital will adjust response measures according to the situation. Lianhe Zaobao

3.Second COVID-19 treatment facility opens at Singapore Expo|Video. CAN

4. Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms in Singapore urged to visit clinics to ease hospital bed crunch. THE STRAITS TIMES

5.Covid-19 cases rise to 20696 in past week. FMT

6.W. Australia reintroduces mask mandate at hospitals amid Covid-19 spike. FMT

(source:internet, reference only)


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