SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 3,474 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Wednesday (Nov 17), as seven more people died from complications due to the coronavirus.
The fatalities were aged between 47 and 83. All of them had various underlying medical conditions. The Ministry of Health (MOH) did not specify what these medical conditions were.
This is the lowest daily number of fatalities reported since Oct 23, when six deaths were recorded. The COVID-19 death toll in Singapore is now 619.
The number of new cases reported on Wednesday is up from the 2,069 infections reported on Tuesday.
The weekly infection growth rate is 0.89 as of Wednesday, higher than the 0.88 reported on Tuesday. This refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before.
Of the new cases reported on Wednesday, 3,464 infections are locally transmitted, comprising 3,320 cases in the community and 144 infections in migrant workers' dormitories.
There are 10 imported cases, MOH said in its daily update released to the media at about 11.15pm.
As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported 244,815 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
A total of 1,468 cases are warded in hospital, with 242 patients requiring oxygen supplementation in general wards.
Forty-eight cases are unstable and under close monitoring in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 64 are critically ill and intubated. The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 62.6 per cent.
A total of 2,555 cases were discharged over the past day, of whom 401 were seniors aged above 60.
"Seniors 60 years old and above, especially if unvaccinated, continue to be more adversely affected by COVID-19," said MOH.
Of the 86,055 cases over the last 28 days, 98.7 per cent had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, while 0.8 per cent required oxygen supplementation in the general ward, 0.2 per cent were in the ICU and 0.2 per cent died.
As of Tuesday, 94 per cent of Singapore’s eligible population – those aged 12 and above – have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Among the total population, 85 per cent have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and about 86 per cent have received at least one dose. About 21 per cent have received their booster shots.
MOH said it is "closely monitoring" nine large clusters.
This includes a cluster at Jamiyah Nursing Home, which reported seven new cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 27 cases.
The cluster at Banyan Home @ Pelangi Village grew to 108 cases, after five new cases were added.
LIANHUA QINGWEN NOT APPROVED FOR COVID-19
Earlier on Wednesday, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said that Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen is not approved for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.
This comes amid claims circulating on social media and in Telegram chat groups that Lianhua Qingwen products can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19.
"Some Lianhua Qingwen products are listed as Chinese proprietary medicines in Singapore for the relief of cold and flu symptoms. HSA approved them based on the documented uses of the ingredients present in the products," said the authority.
"To date, there is no scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials to show that any herbal product, including Lianhua Qingwen products, can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19."
All herbal products for common cold and flu should only be used to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough, said HSA.
"We strongly advise members of the public not to fall prey to unsubstantiated claims or spread unfounded rumours that herbal products can be used to prevent or treat COVID-19," it added.
Editor's note: The breakdown of cases at the NTUC Health Nursing Home (Chai Chee) cluster has been updated following a clarification from MOH.