Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung said on 15 October that the ministry is closely monitoring the latest Covid-19 wave of XBB infections, with cases increasing and being driven by the new Omicron strain and reinfections, according to ChannelNewsAsia.
He said that such a wave, driven largely by the XBB Omicron subvariant, is likely to be short and sharp, and expected to hit the peak in mid-November.
Ong said that “we have never declared that COVID is an endemic disease, some countries have. We have never declared that it’s no longer a social health threat, some countries have. We much prefer to let action and our lives speak for itself.”
Ong added that we cannot rule out the return of stricter safe management measures, such as wearing masks indoors.
However, he added, that Singapore strives to never return to the restrictions that were enacted during the circuit breaker period back in 2020, as he appealed to Singaporeans to be responsible.
He said, “maybe we put back our masks, say indoors, or both indoors and outdoors if the situation requires it.”
“We may have to step up VDS to an appropriate level in order to protect those who are not up to date with their vaccinations.”
The elderly and those who are immuno-compromised, are advised to continue wearing their masks in indoor settings that are crowded.