Singapore’s Covid-19 Cases Nearly Doubles, Public Hospitals To Reduce Non-Elective Surgeries

There has been a near doubling of COVID-19 cases in Singapore week-on-week, prompting the Health Ministry to take steps to ensure sufficient capacity at public hospitals. 

The estimated number of COVID-19 infections in the week of May 5 to 11 rose to 25,900 – a 90 per cent increase compared with the 13,700 cases in the week before that. 

The average daily COVID-19 hospitalisations rose to about 250 from 181 the week before, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (May 18). It added that the average daily cases in intensive care remained low at three cases compared to two cases in the previous week. 

“MOH is closely tracking the trajectory of this wave,” the ministry said. 

“To protect hospital bed capacity and as a precaution, public hospitals have been asked to reduce their non-urgent elective surgery cases, and move suitable patients to care facilities like Transitional Care Facilities or at home through Mobile Inpatient Care@Home.”

It also urged people not to seek treatment at a hospital’s Emergency Department if their symptoms are mild or if they have no medical vulnerabilities. 

The KP.1 and KP.2 strain of the COVID-19 virus currently account for more than two-thirds of cases in Singapore.

The two strains belong to a group of COVID-19 variants scientists have dubbed “FLiRT”, after the technical names of their mutations. They are all descendants of the JN.1 variant, which spread rapidly around the world several months back.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization classified KP.2 as a Variant Under Monitoring. It is also the dominant strain in the United States and has been detected in countries like China, Thailand, India, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“There are currently no indications, globally or locally, that KP.1 and KP.2 are more transmissible or cause more severe disease than other circulating variants,” MOH said on Saturday.“

This indicates that immunity in the population is likely to have waned,” said MOH. Even as we live with COVID-19 as an endemic disease, we cannot afford to lower our guard.”

CNA

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