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Omicron wave 'imminent', cases currently make up 17% of local COVID-19 infections: Ong Ye Kung

Omicron wave 'imminent', cases currently make up 17% of local COVID-19 infections: Ong Ye Kung

People wearing masks walk along Orchard Road in Singapore on Oct 1, 2021. (File photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: With Omicron cases currently making up around 17 per cent of local COVID-19 infections, a wave of the variant is “imminent” and Singapore must be prepared for it, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (Jan 3). 

In an update on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, Mr Ong said that the country "continues to be stable so far". 

"The number of active local cases over the past week is now 1,200, compared to a peak of over 26,000," he said in a Facebook post. 

About 20 patients are in intensive care compared to a peak of about 170 cases. This is also the lowest in the last quarter, he added. 

"Deaths are thankfully low. All these signal that the recent COVID-19 wave due to the Delta variant has subsided, at least for now," said Mr Ong. 

At the same time, Omicron cases have started to "creep up", making up around 17 per cent of local cases currently. 

"This means an Omicron wave is imminent, and we need to be prepared for it," said the Health Minister, adding that vaccination and boosters remain the key response. 

Mr Ong said that Singapore's vaccination exercise has maintained its momentum, with 87 per cent of the total population having completed their full regimen and 88 per cent receiving at least one dose.

Singapore also ended last year with 41 per cent of its population boosted, out of about 70 per cent that is or will be eligible.

More than 20,000 children aged nine to 11 years also received their first COVID-19 jab over the past week. This is equivalent to about half a cohort and many more are scheduled in the coming few weeks, said Mr Ong.

New supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are also expected to arrive this month. 

"We will keep making progress, everyone needs to continue to do our part and exercise civic responsibility, and 2022 will be a better year than the last," he added. 

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Source: CNA/yb(zl)

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