300 unvaccinated COVID-19 cases in current outbreak vs 78 vaccinated: Ong Ye Kung
"Not quite" true that the situation in Singapore is "getting very bad", says the health minister.
SINGAPORE: A total of 78 COVID-19 cases in the current outbreak have been vaccinated - many of whom are frontline workers - compared to about 300 unvaccinated cases, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (May 23).
The numbers represent a ratio of about 79 per cent unvaccinated cases versus 21 per cent vaccinated ones.
In a Facebook post that sought to answer what Mr Ong termed "the most common questions people are asking about COVID-19 in Singapore", he said that international studies continue to show that vaccinations are "very effective in preventing infections and severe illnesses".
The minister cited the figures in response to the question of whether it is true that many vaccinated people are infected and there is no point getting vaccinated.
The other three questions: Whether the new B1617 coronavirus variant from India is "airborne and very contagious"; whether the "situation is getting very bad"; and whether the situation "must be bad" if authorities are testing residents in housing blocks.
READ: JEM and Westgate malls to be closed for 2 weeks amid 'likely ongoing' COVID-19 transmission: MOH
Regarding the B1617 variant, Mr Ong said the strain's modes of transmission are not unlike COVID-19 in general, which has always been spread when a person "coughs, sneezes, talks or sings, through droplets and aerosols in the air".
The minister added that various factors affect the risk of transmission, and limited airflow and poor ventilation worsen the spread. A large majority of infections are in enclosed places with close interactions without masks, prompting the authorities to suspend dining out at restaurants and big gatherings.
This is "also why a big proportion of infections now actually come from home", said Mr Ong.
"To protect your family members, see a doctor immediately if unwell."
HOW BAD IS THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN SINGAPORE?
Mr Ong said it is "not quite" true that the "situation is getting very bad".
Appending a graph showing the three-day moving averages of total community cases and unlinked community cases from May 16 to May 21, Mr Ong said in the post "we are hovering around the same number since May 16".
May 16 was when Singapore further tightened rules and entered what has been termed "Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)".
"But as I had said earlier in a press conference on May 16, we are monitoring the situation closely; to see if we are trending up, down or flat," he added.
And the fact that the authorities have been conducting special operations, with swab tests conducted for residents of certain HDB blocks, does not mean that the situation "must be bad", said the minister.
READ: 10 COVID-19 cases identified at Hougang HDB block, including 1 new infection picked up from mandatory testing
READ: All residents at Pasir Ris HDB block to undergo COVID-19 testing after 4 cases identified there
"Testing is a very effective way to prevent further spread. You should feel safer when you hear all these testing ops. They help us detect and isolate people early, including persons who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and would otherwise be missed.
"We will be doing even more testing and surveillance moving forward," Mr Ong added.