- Singaporean officials have tightened Covid controls as the country’s infection rate has risen to five new daily highs in the last week.
- However, health experts warned media outlets that the latest virus outbreak may not be a terrible thing for Singapore’s highly vaccinated population, where the great majority of illnesses are mild.
- “For these people, infection will not have any short-term or long-term consequence to their health, but may additionally trigger a natural immune response which reduces the chance of subsequent infection,” said Teo Yik-Ying of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.
SINGAPORE — Singapore authorities have tightened Covid controls as infections in the country reach new highs — but two health experts told media outlets that they are not overly alarmed.
The country’s health-care system and workers have been pressured by the spike in cases, and there is a need to restrict transmission to prevent seeing more illnesses in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, according to the health ministry, which issued tighter measures again on Friday.
Group sizes for social gatherings will be decreased from five to two persons for the next four weeks, and working from home will be the default.
Despite this, medical experts told media that the new viral outbreak may not be a negative thing because Singapore’s population is well-vaccinated.
According to Teo Yik-Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, many Covid-19 patients escaped serious disease and will acquire additional protection against future infection as antibodies combat the virus.
Covid vaccines has been administered to around 82 percent of Singapore’s population. According to health officials, 98 percent of infected people showed no or moderate symptoms in the previous 28 days.
The number of cases may stay high for a few months, but the “vast majority” will be well protected by the immunizations and will not become critically ill, according to Teo.
According to Singapore’s health ministry, the frequency of severe Covid cases remained within predictions.
As of Sunday, there were 172 individuals requiring oxygen supplementation and 30 in the critical care unit (ICU). According to the administration, ICU capacity can be increased to 1,600 beds if necessary.
The current virus wave, according to Ooi, is “well within the limits” of Singapore’s capacity. The additional limits are “unnecessary,” he says, and would stymie efforts to live with the disease.
While Teo agreed that the situation was not worse, he stated that tightened measures are required to provide Singapore “breathing space” to make improvements to operating and hospitalization protocols.
According to Teo, hospital beds are filling up due to the country’s “extremely conservative” attitude, not because a large number of people want immediate medical attention.
The long-term strategy against Covid is a combination of vaccine and natural infection to give protection while not overburdening hospitals, he said, adding that while he does not expect an increase in the death rate, absolute numbers can be expected to climb.
“Infection will have neither short-term or long-term health consequences for these people, but it may also stimulate a natural immune response that minimizes the chance of repeat infection,” he wrote in an email.