Thursday, October 21, 2021

Singapore reports worst daily number of COVID-19 cases despite high vaccination rate

Singapore on Friday recorded its highest daily tally of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, despite having vaccinated most of its population.

The Southeast Asian city-state reported a new high of 2,909 COVID-19 cases on Friday, the health ministry said in a statement on Saturday, but noted that more than 98 percent of infected individuals had mild or no symptoms. are not.

“This is a result of vaccinating the vast majority of our population who have experienced mild illness even after infection,” the statement said. “Nevertheless, we are ramping up our health care and response capacity to deal with the rising number of cases.”

The recent surge in infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, has prompted Singapore to reopen after some restrictions were eased. It also tightened restrictions from last week that limited social gatherings to two people and made work from home a default.

The government has said the strict measures are a “temporary pause” to expand health care capacity, set up more isolation facilities, reach more uninsured people and get booster shots to those who need them.

More than 80 percent of Singapore’s population has been vaccinated against the CCP virus.

“We’ve already said that because of our high vaccination rates, we’re no longer just focusing on headline numbers,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong told reporters at a news conference Saturday morning. “Our focus is on people who are seriously ill and on making sure our health care system is able to care for them.”

The health ministry statement said that although the number of daily cases is expected to increase this month, the rate of increase has slowed slightly and currently the vast majority of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and are home to Appropriate health benefits.

It added that the percentage of patients requiring ICU care is low at around 0.2 per cent.

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“However, with higher cases, this could translate into a larger absolute number. Presently, 34 ICU beds are occupied and we expect the number to increase,” the health ministry said.

Officials did not specify how many of the newly reported cases were successful infections in people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Health officials said cases in Singapore are projected to soon surpass 3,200 daily cases, and the city-state could also start seeing 5,000 daily cases in mid-October.

It comes after Singapore made headlines when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in May the government’s plan to “live with the virus” and gradually move away from a “COVID-zero” approach.

“Our aim should be to keep the community as a whole, while acknowledging that some people can become infected from time to time,” the prime minister said at the time.

Singapore will this month expand its COVID-19 booster shot program amid a recent surge in infections, the government has said, with residents aged 50 to 59 being eligible for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose from October 4.

Health officials are also considering recommending booster shots for certain population groups, such as health care workers, frontline workers and individuals in “other vulnerable settings.”

The health ministry on Saturday reiterated Singapore’s plan to live with the virus and said it aims to “reduce deaths while always progressively opening up our social and economic activities.”

“It also requires a collective change in our mindset. We have to learn to live with the virus and understand that for most people, especially those who are vaccinated, it is not a serious disease.

Reuters contributed to this report.

isabelle van bruggen

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Isabel van Bruggen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. He holds a Masters in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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