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Daily COVID-19 cases in Singapore increase by up to 40% week-on-week: MOH

This translates to 900 to 1,000 more cases every day, with the Omicron variant BA.2.75 accounting for about a quarter of all daily infections.

Daily COVID-19 cases in Singapore increase by up to 40% week-on-week: MOH

People wearing masks along Orchard Road in Singapore on Jan 5, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has recorded a 35 per cent to 40 per cent week-on-week increase in COVID-19 daily cases, translating to 900 to 1,000 more infections every day, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Sep 30).

There has been no indication that the increase in cases has led to more severe diseases, the ministry said in a statement.

There has also been no significant impact on Singapore’s healthcare system due to this higher number of daily infections, it added.

MOH said the Omicron variant BA.2.75 or “Centaurus” accounted for about a quarter of all daily infections.

BA.2.75 is a sub-lineage strain of Omicron subvariant BA.2, which was responsible for triggering outbreaks in places like the United States and Hong Kong earlier this year.

The BA.2.75 variant has been around for some time, and has been detected in many countries including Australia, China, Europe, India, Malaysia and the US, said MOH on Friday.

Singapore reported its first two imported cases of the variant in July.

“It is now circulating more widely in our population, due to social mixing and gatherings, and relaxing of masking rules. This is most likely the main reason for the increase in cases,” MOH said.

“There has been no evidence of increased disease severity associated with BA.2.75 in the international literature or in our local context."

MOH said it expects higher case numbers over the next few weeks and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Singapore's mask-wearing rules eased from Aug 29, allowing people to go mask-free except on public transport and in healthcare facilities.

Earlier in April, group size limits as well as vaccination-differentiated safe-management measures were also removed.  

The seven-day moving average of local COVID-19 cases in Singapore between Sep 2 and Sep 29, 2022. (Graph: Ministry of Health)

INCREASE IN REINFECTIONS

The proportion of reinfections in Singapore has also increased from about 6 per cent of all reported cases from the beginning of September, to about 10 per cent this week, MOH noted.

“Notwithstanding this, reinfections account for only a small proportion of the rise in cases and are not the main driver for the higher number of cases,” it added.

MOH urged those who have not received their booster shots to do so.

Three shots of mRNA vaccine or four shots of Sinovac-CoronaVac are needed to be adequately protected against current variants of COVID-19, said the ministry.

“Members of the public are also encouraged to continue to exercise personal and social responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places, or when visiting or interacting with vulnerable persons,” it added.

Those who are unwell should continue to stay at home and avoid going out. If unwell when out or at the workplace, they should should go home immediately to rest or see a doctor, MOH advised.

Singapore reported 3,431 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, comprising 3,219 local infections and 212 imported ones.

No fatalities were reported on Thursday.

The weekly infection growth rate is 1.29, the highest since Jul 19 when the weekly infection growth rate hit 1.36. A number above 1 indicates that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases is rising.

There have been more than 1.9 million COVID-19 cases in Singapore since the start of the pandemic. 

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Source: CNA/ng(jo)
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