Spike In S’pore Covid Cases Have Experts Urging Caution

In lieu of the spikes in Covid-19 cases in Singapore, experts have narrowed down our response to the health crisis to the critical 2 weeks we have ahead of us.

On Tuesday (31 Mar), local health experts warned that Singapore would exceed 1,000 Covid-19 cases soon. To recap, we now have 926 confirmed cases at the time of writing.

47 New Covid-19 Cases On 31 Mar, 18 With No Links Add To Rising Local Infections

Thus, they’ve urged locals to follow rules on social distancing and personal hygiene over the next 2 weeks, reported The Straits Times (ST).

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Thankfully, there still seems to be a silver lining to this. We would have to hang tight and comply with stricter measures to curb the spread of the virus.

And if we do succeed – coupled with the possibility of no dramatic rises in cases next week – Singapore could enter a period of stability and eventually defuse the outbreak.

Putting 1,000 Covid-19 cases into perspective

Experts predict that the number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore will surpass 1,000 this week.

While the figure seems alarming, infectious disease expert Mr Leong Hoe Nam urged the public to keep calm as the figure is just a “psychological barrier” in his statement to ST.

He quipped,

Many countries have crossed 1,000 and we should not just look at the total number, but the number of unlinked cases.

Next 2 weeks are crucial

Experts who spoke to ST also predict that the next “2 weeks” are crucial in the battle to defuse the outbreak.

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If Singapore contains the epidemic within the next 14 days, we can look forward to achieving stability in terms of our case count in the long-run.

Ensuring our healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed

Most countries hard hit by the outbreak, like Korea and Japan have continued to conduct contact tracing, even as case numbers stabilise.

While the situation is still manageable locally, we’ll still have to prepare for the possibility of our healthcare system being “overwhelmed” if there is a sudden spike in cases.

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This is particularly true for most nations, as there’s a limited number of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) available in hospitals around Singapore.

We’ll have to band together as a nation to mitigate the spread before the number of critical patients exceeds the capacity required to house them.

Tougher measures could be imposed

On the flipside, we can expect tougher measures to be imposed if Singaporeans take some of the freedoms we have for granted — resulting in risks of a wider spread.

Social media has already been rife with posts calling out the inconsiderate behaviour of those who flout social distancing rules and put their loved ones at risk.

If community spread can’t be contained, we do have to anticipate the possibility of lockdowns similar to Wuhan or Italy.

Prof Hsu elaborated on the possibility of stricter measures to curb the spread to ST, saying,

Naturally we would not wish to do this unless truly necessary, but such extreme physical distancing measures will be effective in bringing down the transmission rate of the virus.

Singaporeans must act responsibly

Besides stricter measures, we cannot discount the role that locals have to play in stopping the epidemic from spreading freely within the heartlands.

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By adhering to strict cleanliness protocols & personal hygiene guidelines, we can protect our loved ones and ourselves and help limit the spread.

Be socially responsible to keep your loved ones safe

From what the experts have said, we can conclude that everyone has a role to play to curb the spread of Covid-19.

We should follow the precautionary measures implemented by the government to break community transmission, including observing social distancing and avoiding leaving the house as much as possible.

Above all, be responsible to ensure that our loved ones and fellow citizens are safe from the pandemic.

Featured image adapted from NUS.