SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 265 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (Dec 24), of which 79 are imported.
No fatalities were reported for the first time since Sep 19, with the country's death toll from coronavirus complications remaining at 820.
Friday's case count is down from the 322 infections reported on Thursday.
Among the new cases, 186 are locally transmitted, comprising 177 in the community and nine in migrant workers' dormitories, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) website.
A total of 82 new Omicron cases were confirmed on Friday, of which 17 are local and 65 are imported.
From Friday, COVID-19 cases who test positive for the S-gene target failure (SGTF) will be categorised as Omicron cases, without additional whole genome sequencing (WGS), the Health Ministry said.
"Based on our local experience, if a person tests positive for SGTF, it is very likely that it is an Omicron variant," MOH said.
"This is aligned to the practice in other countries, and does not change our existing public health actions which are already triggered on the basis of detecting SGTF.
"Due to this change, the number of Omicron cases will see a one-time substantial increase from the last update, as samples pending WGS have been included in today’s count."
The weekly infection growth rate is 0.52, down from Thursday's 0.57. This refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before.
The growth rate has remained below 1 since Nov 13. A figure below 1 means that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases is falling.
As of Friday, Singapore has recorded 277,307 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
HOSPITALISATIONS AND VACCINATIONS
The intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation rate is at 51.7 per cent, up from the 50 per cent reported on Thursday.
There are 413 patients in hospital, with 45 requiring oxygen supplementation.
In the ICU, 10 patients require close monitoring while 19 patients are critically ill.
As of Thursday, 96 per cent of Singapore's eligible population - those aged 12 and above - have completed their full vaccination regimen.
About 36 per cent of the total population have received their vaccine booster shots.