Singapore: Singapore must be prepared for an imminent wave of Omicron infections that have crept up recently and currently make up around 17 per cent of the local coronavirus cases, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung cautioned on Monday.
In an update on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, Ong said the country continues to be “stable” for now, but the infections driven by the new and highly transmissible Omicron variant have spiked.
“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,” Channel News Asia quoted Ong as saying.
At the same time, the Omicron cases have started to “creep up”, making up around 17 per cent of local cases currently, he said.
“This means an Omicron wave is imminent, and we need to be prepared for it,” said the minister, adding that vaccination and boosters remain the key response.
New supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are also expected to arrive this month, he said.
“We will keep making progress, everyone needs to continue to do their part and exercise civic responsibility, and 2022 will be a better year than the last,” Ong said.
More than 20,000 children aged nine to 11 years have received their first COVID-19 jab over the past week in Singapore, equivalent to about half a cohort, and many more are scheduled in the coming few weeks, he said.
Singapore reports Omicron infections separately from COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 155 new Omicron infections, comprising 119 imported cases, or those arriving here, and 36 local cases.
There were 429 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Sunday, including 297 imported infections. No new fatalities were reported, and the deaths from coronavirus complications remains at 829, according to the latest infection statistics on the ministry’s website.
As of Sunday, Singapore has recorded 280,290 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.