Singapore has been seeing an increase in the number of weekly covid vases in the 2 weeks leading up to 18 March, with the number of cases exceeding 10,000, which is more than double for the previous two weeks before that saw less than 4,500 cases weekly.
The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has come out and allayed concerns on 27 March, saying that the current rise in cases is not causing a strain on our healthcare capacity.
MOH said that new infection waves occur periodically and they will continue to monitor the local situation and look out for the emergency of any new variants.
They also added that they are also monitoring the severity and potential impact on our healthcare system.
According to MOH, the number of infections is estimated based on the National Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) Surveillance Programme, which includes the average number of ARI attendances at polyclinics daily, which was 2,592 cases from 12 March to 18 March and 2,823 in the previous week.
Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung also touched about the subject, replying to a comment on his Instagram, saying that “important thing is severity of symptoms. Today, number of COVID-19-related hospitalisations is very low, and far lower than non-COVID-19-related infections. So we can treat COVID-19 as an endemic disease, but we will continue to monitor closely to make sure we stay on the right track.”
As of 26 March this year, there have also been no cases of the XBB.1.16 variant detected here in Singapore, according to MOH.
The XBB.1.16 is the predominant subvariant of Omicron reported in India.
MOH said that there is currently no evidence internationally that XBB.1.16 exhibits greater transmissibility or severity than previously identified subvariants, and the subvariants that are currently detected in Singapore are the XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.9, that were detected here in late December last year and mid January earlier this year.