Mon, November 29, 2021

international

Singapores covid record sparks warning on hospital strain


Singapore warned that covid-19 cases are dangerously straining the city-states health care system, even as strict rules designed to curb the current outbreak are set to be reviewed within days.

New daily cases hit 3,994 on Tuesday, another record, with more patients needing intensive care, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. The increase was likely due to a post-weekend surge, the ministry said, though it will continue monitoring cases to determine if it is part of a trend.

"The number of persons requiring ICU care continues to rise, and this has put our hospitals under significant pressure and strain," according to the ministry. It asked residents to limit their social activities, especially the elderly population, and go out only for essential trips.

There are currently 71 patients in intensive care, the agency said. Health minister Ong Ye Kung said earlier this month that the city-state is working to increase the number of ICU beds to 180, up from 134, in anticipation of a rise in cases.

The continuing surge in infections is likely to test the government's resolve to proceed with reopening within the community, with officials set to review measures introduced nearly a month ago to curb the virus's spread. The spate of restrictions, including making work-from-home the standard and allowing a maximum of two people to meet in social settings, were put in place until Oct. 24.

There are growing signs of fatigue with the curbs. A rise in activity levels was observed over the past week, including more visitors to malls and a slight increase in use of public transportation, the health ministry said.

The seven-day average number of new infections in the Asian financial hub have more than tripled from a month ago and is now hitting more than 3,000 a day, though the vast majority of cases are mild or asymptomatic. Daily reported infections among unvaccinated seniors above the age of 60, a group that is more vulnerable to developing severe disease, has risen to well over 100, according to the ministry.

Published : October 21, 2021

By : Bloomberg