International COVID 19 Ong Ye Kung: OMICRON wave imminent, we need to be prepared for...

Ong Ye Kung: OMICRON wave imminent, we need to be prepared for it

“Omicron cases have started to creep up, making up around 17% of local cases currently. This means an Omicron wave is imminent, and we need to be prepared for it.” — Ong Ye Kung

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Singapore — In an update on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung noted that an Omicron wave was imminent, with cases of the variant accounting for 17 per cent of total Covid-19 cases.

“Today is the first work day of 2022. Thought I will do an update on where we are on the pandemic,” said Mr Ong in a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 3).

He noted that the Covid-19 situation in Singapore “continues to be stable so far,” with the number of active local cases over the past week at 1,200 compared to a peak of over 26,000 in the past.

Mr Ong confirmed that intensive care unit (ICU) cases are at around 20, compared to a peak of about 170 cases before. It is also the lowest in the last quarter of 2021.

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“Deaths are thankfully low,” he said, adding that the numbers indicate the recent Delta wave has subsided for now.

“But Omicron cases have started to creep up, making up around 17 per cent of local cases currently,” said Mr Ong.

“This means an Omicron wave is imminent, and we need to be prepared for it.”

According to the Ministry of Health’s daily update on Jan 3, there were 464 new cases reported, with 187 new Omicron cases confirmed. Out of the reported Omicron cases, four are local and 183 are imported.

The weekly infection growth rate, which is the ratio between the number of cases in one week and the number from the previous week, is at 0.95.

Mr Ong highlighted that vaccination and boosters remain the key response against the virus.

Singapore’s vaccination exercise “has maintained its momentum,” with 87 per cent of the population completing the full regimen and 88 per cent receiving at least one dose.

“We also ended 2021 with 41 per cent of our population boosted, out of about 70 per cent that is or will be eligible,” said Mr Ong.

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Regarding Covid-19 vaccination for children, Mr Ong mentioned that more than 20,000 children aged nine to 11 years had received the first dose.

“This is equivalent to about half a cohort, with many more scheduled in the coming few weeks.”

Mr Ong also said that new supplies of Covid-19 vaccines will be arriving this month, which will “see us through our booster and vaccination exercise strongly.”

He urged everyone to continue doing their part and exercising civic responsibility to ensure “2022 will be a better year than the last.”/TISG

Ong Ye Kung: S’pore to extend COVID-19 vaccination to children aged 5 to 11 as clinical trials show it’s safe & effective

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