Singapore sees surge in COVID-19 cases as it transitions into endemic phase

Singapore sees surge in COVID-19 cases as it transitions into endemic phase

SINGAPORE — The number of recorded COVID-19 cases rose significantly in the past week caused by a combination of XBB subvariants but is said to be normal as Singapore transitions into the endemic phase.

According to the latest official weekly figures, the number of cases has been rising since the start of last month, reaching the highest surge this year. During the last week of March, recorded cases rose significantly to 28,410, nearly double the previous week’s figure of 14,467.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has acknowledged this trend and released a statement noting that they anticipate periodic waves of new COVID-19 infections, typical of endemic respiratory diseases like influenza.

The ministry also stated that the past few weeks had seen a steady increase in new COVID-19 hospitalisations, with cases reaching 339 by the end of March. However, during the same period, there has been a decrease in admissions into intensive care units (ICU).

Doctors have attributed the recent jump in COVID-19 cases in Singapore to the easing of measures and the resumption of travel. Singapore’s mask-wearing rule for public transport commuters was lifted in February, and non-vaccinated travellers entering the country are no longer required to show a negative pre-departure test.

Therefore, as COVID-19 restrictions ease in Singapore, clinics are seeing a spike in patient load, with each clinic reportedly seeing about 15 to 20 COVID-19 patients per day, up by almost twofold over the past month.

However, doctors have noted that most of the COVID-19 cases seen in clinics continue to be mild, with patients being treated symptomatically and recovering uneventfully.

Additionally, there has been an increase in patients seeking medical treatment for influenza. To cater to the uptick, clinic chains have ordered more medication, including COVID-19-targeted treatments.

High-risk patients, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, are advised to practice extra vigilance.

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