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Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 10:07 IST

COVID-19 possibly peaked in Singapore: Health Minister

Despite acknowledging this strain, Minister Ong indicated that implementing additional stringent measures, might not be an immediate necessity.

328 fresh Covid cases takes India's caseload to near 3,000, Kerala tops with 265 infections
Representative image | Image:PTI/File
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The Health Minister of Singapore, Ong Ye Kung, has expressed cautious optimism regarding the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, suggesting that it may have reached its peak. He highlighted the strain on the healthcare system due to the occupancy of approximately 600 to 700 hospital beds by COVID-19 patients, stressing the considerable workload this places on healthcare professionals.


Despite acknowledging this strain, Minister Ong indicated that implementing additional stringent measures, such as a face mask mandate, might not be an immediate necessity. He underlined the resilience of the healthcare system while also acknowledging the persistent pressure on hospitals and healthcare workers.

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While there has been a slight decrease in estimated infection numbers, experts cautioned that severe cases might continue to rise even after a decline in mild cases. Associate Professor Alex Cook warned that although there has been a dip in cases, the impact on the healthcare system might not immediately show signs of improvement.


Looking ahead to the holiday season, Minister Ong urged a sense of personal responsibility, stressing the importance of mask-wearing when feeling unwell, staying at home, and remaining up-to-date with vaccinations. He particularly highlighted the necessity for seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions to receive annual vaccinations due to the diminishing effectiveness of vaccines after a span of 12 to 18 months.

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Ong also shared insights into the efforts by the Ministry of Health to improve vaccine availability by engaging more general practitioners in administering COVID-19 vaccines and integrating vaccination into the Healthier SG programme.
Regarding the potential reinstatement of mask mandates, Ong assured the public that, if deemed necessary, Singapore would enforce such measures. However, for the current situation, he said that the country is capable of managing without additional distancing measures while strongly encouraging people to wear masks when feeling unwell or when in contact with others.
(With PTI inputs)

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Published December 23rd, 2023 at 10:07 IST

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