Singapore in the middle of COVID-19 wave; 3 in 10 are reinfected cases
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU remained at less than 10 at any one time during the past month.
Singapore has been in the middle of a COVID-19 wave this past month, with a surge in the estimated number of daily infections from about 1,400 cases a month ago to 4,000 last week.
Of these cases, about three in 10 of them are reinfections. This is higher than the last wave that saw 20 to 25 per cent of such cases, according to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, Mr Ong said that there is no evidence that the current strains cause more severe illnesses.
While the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients rose from 80 to 220 over the past month, it is “far below” numbers seen during the pandemic’s peak, said Mr Ong. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions have also remained consistent, with less than 10 COVID-19 patients at any point in time.
While providing updates on Friday (Apr 14) at the National Healthcare Group (NHG) population health collective annual workplan seminar, Mr Ong mentioned that this wave is “not a severe wave”, but hospitals’ workloads have increased as a result of the additional cases.
He added that new COVID-19 waves emerge due to how protection gained from past infections or vaccination “wanes over time”.
“The virus is endemic, which means it is always circulating within the community. In such a situation, what drives our local waves is not imported infections, but reinfections of existing individuals in the community,” he said.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is continuing to do genetic sequencing of viral samples, and has identified multiple variants currently circulating, including XBB, XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.16.
Mr Ong also encouraged Singaporeans to help educate their friends and families to take measures such as staying home and wearing masks if unwell, as well as getting the COVID boosters annually for those vulnerable or over the age of 60.