SINGAPORE— Last Friday(24 Mar), TOC reported that there have been over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 locally per week for two consecutive weeks, according to the official COVID-19 statistics published on the Ministry of Health (MOH) website.
During week 10 and week 11 this year, the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded was 10,352 and 10,464, respectively.
This represents a sharp increase compared to the end of February and early March, when the numbers were only around 4,400 cases per week.
Two doctors interviewed by Chinese media outlet, 8World News, have cautioned that the number of COVID-19 cases may continue to rise as people become more lax about preventive measures.
A netizen also warned Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on his official Instagram post, expressing concern that COVID-19 cases seem to be on the rise once again.
In response, Mr Ong noted that the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations is currently very low.
“Important thing is severity of symptoms. Today, number of covid-related hospitalizations is very low, and far lower than non covid related infections. So we can treat covid-19 as an endemic disease. ”
He also assured that MOH will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure that Singapore stays on the right track.
Currently, Mr Ong is on a trip as part of the delegation for the Singapore Prime Minister’s official visit to China.
MOH to continue closely monitor the situation and emergence of new variants
In response to CNA’s queries on Monday (27 Mar), MOH stated that new waves of infection are expected periodically, and it will continue to closely monitor the situation and the emergence of new variants.
MOH said the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Singapore is not posing a strain on the healthcare system.
“More importantly, we also monitor the severity and potential impact on our healthcare system.”
The MOH’s statistic estimates the number of COVID-19 infections based on the National ARI Surveillance Programme, which includes the average daily number of ARI attendances at polyclinics.
The average daily number of patients seeking ARI treatment in the polyclinics was 2,592 for the week 11 (12 Mar to 18 Mar) and 2,823 the week before:
Furthermore, as of Mar 26, 2023, Singapore has not detected any cases of XBB.1.16, the emerging and predominant Omicron subvariant reported in India.
“There is also currently no evidence internationally that XBB.1.16 exhibits greater transmissibility or severity than previously identified subvariants,” said MOH.
“The predominant circulating COVID-19 subvariants currently detected in Singapore are XBB, and its sub-lineages XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.9 that were first detected locally in late-December 2022 and mid-January 2023 respectively.”