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Ong Ye Kung on excess mortality from COVID-19

11:22 Min

There are two key ways to reduce excess deaths associated with COVID-19 - first, vaccination, which significantly reduces the risk of infection leading to severe illness and death; and second, ensuring the healthcare system is resilient enough to cope with the extra influx of patients. Making the point in Parliament on Monday (Oct 3), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung noted that Singapore’s COVID-19 excess mortality rate remains among the lowest in the world. With 93 per cent of its population vaccinated and 80 per cent boosted, it is unvaccinated people who have disproportionately contributed to COVID-19 deaths. Mr Ong said that in the first half of 2022, about 5 per cent of the eligible population were not fully vaccinated, but made up 28 per cent of deaths from the virus. As at the end of June, about 2,100 people had applied for exemption from vaccination-differentiated safe management measures due to adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. The observed rate of COVID-19 deaths in this group was around two in 1,000, compared with 0.3 in 1,000 observed in the whole population. Mr Ong was replying to MPs’ questions. He also welcomed a suggestion to study more deeply the impact of socioeconomic status and housing type on the excess mortality risk from COVID-19.

There are two key ways to reduce excess deaths associated with COVID-19 - first, vaccination, which significantly reduces the risk of infection leading to severe illness and death; and second, ensuring the healthcare system is resilient enough to cope with the extra influx of patients. Making the point in Parliament on Monday (Oct 3), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung noted that Singapore’s COVID-19 excess mortality rate remains among the lowest in the world. With 93 per cent of its population vaccinated and 80 per cent boosted, it is unvaccinated people who have disproportionately contributed to COVID-19 deaths. Mr Ong said that in the first half of 2022, about 5 per cent of the eligible population were not fully vaccinated, but made up 28 per cent of deaths from the virus. As at the end of June, about 2,100 people had applied for exemption from vaccination-differentiated safe management measures due to adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. The observed rate of COVID-19 deaths in this group was around two in 1,000, compared with 0.3 in 1,000 observed in the whole population. Mr Ong was replying to MPs’ questions. He also welcomed a suggestion to study more deeply the impact of socioeconomic status and housing type on the excess mortality risk from COVID-19.

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