No 'new wave' despite recent rise in COVID cases in Singapore: Ong Ye Kung

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
Office workers go for lunch at the central business district on the first day free of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Singapore, April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Office workers go for lunch at the central business district in Singapore on 26 April, 2022. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Singapore is not evidence of a "new wave", and there is no need for adjustments to current safe management measures (SMMs), said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (12 May).

In a Facebook post, the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce co-chair wrote that the community cases, while rising, are not doubling every few days.

"So there is no evidence of a new wave. The rise is also expected, given that we opened up social activities almost fully since 26 April," he added.

Along with the relaxation of SMMs, Singapore lowered the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from orange to yellow.

Among the changes are the removal of group size limit and safe distancing requirements, allowing all workers to return to the workplace, as well as making mask-wearing optional in outdoor settings.

But with "strong resilience to the virus" due to vaccinations and recovery from past infections, Singapore should be able to see through the recent uptick in cases, without any adjustments to SMMs, Ong said.

In addition to most COVID-19 cases showing mild symptoms and recovering uneventfully at home, there is no rise in severe COVID cases seen at hospitals and intensive care units, according to Ong.

Authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely "as things can change very quickly, especially if a new variant was to emerge", he added.

"So even as we enjoy this period of respite, we must not let our guard down and should continue to exercise personal and social responsibility at all times."

On Thursday, Singapore recorded 3,645 new cases, down from 3,890 a day before. The weekly infection growth rate – or ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before – dropped from 1.76 on Wednesday to 1.49, the same as on Tuesday. It was 1.1 on Monday.

A figure of over one means that the number of new weekly cases is on the rise.

Over the last 28 days, Singapore recorded 77,311 new cases, of whom 99.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms. In total, the city-state has seen 1,232,559 cases and 1,361 COVID-19 deaths to date.

As of Wednesday, 92 per cent of the total population have completed the full vaccination regimen, while 75 per cent have received their booster shots.

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