Singapore Reports 7,109 Covid-19 Cases On 21 Jun, Weekly Infection Ratio Increases To 1.23
For the past few weeks, Singapore’s Covid-19 situation has remained rather stable, with roughly 4,000 new cases daily.
On Tuesday (21 Jun), however, Singapore reported 7,109 new infections, almost double the number of cases from the day before.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has since issued a statement sharing that the recent increase in Covid-19 cases was largely due to the newer Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.
Singapore reports 6,393 new community Covid-19 cases on 21 Jun
Of the 7,109 new infections on Tuesday (21 Jun), 6,393 were local cases. The remaining 716 cases were among travellers arriving from overseas.
Though the case tally on 21 Jun may seem like a sudden spike, there has actually been a gradual rise in cases over the recent weeks.
While the week starting 6 Jun had a daily average case count of 3,013, the subsequent week starting 13 Jun saw 3,446 new infections daily on average.
The rise resulted in the weekly infection ratio shooting up to 1.23 on Tuesday (21 Jun).
Simply put, Singapore reported 23% more Covid-19 cases in the community over the past seven days than the previous seven-day period.
Surge in BA.4 & BA.5 cases likely to continue
On the same day, MOH issued a press release addressing the increase in cases.
According to the health ministry, the 23% week-on-week increase was mostly driven by the “increased spread” of the newer Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.
Although most of our Covid-19 cases are still of the BA.2 subvariant, the proportion of BA.4 and BA.5 cases in the community has apparently risen to 30% over the past weeks. In comparison, these cases only accounted for 17%, 8%, and 3% of community cases the three weeks before.
Of particular interest is the BA.5 subvariant, which accounted for 25% of all cases this week.
MOH expects the surge in BA.4 and BA.5 cases to continue, as they’re more infectious than the BA.2 subvariant.
Despite their higher transmissibility, the evidence thus far suggests that BA.4 and BA.5 infections are similar in severity to those of earlier Omicron variants. As such, the current suite of Safe Management Measures (SMM) will remain.
MOH urges seniors to get vaccinated
Even though Singapore might be facing a vaguely familiar foe, our primary form of defence remains the same — vaccination and boosters.
Hence, MOH took the opportunity to encourage seniors above 70 to get their second booster shots.
All other eligible individuals should also get their primary vaccination series and subsequent booster shot.
From Thursday (23 Jun), five new Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres will begin operations. Anyone above 12 will thus be able to get inoculated on a walk-in basis.
MOH also urged the larger community to not let their guards down and continue exercising individual and social responsibility.
Continue to stay vigilant
It’s only natural for Singaporeans to feel concerned seeing such a sharp spike in cases.
However, it appears the new subvariants are similar in severity to past strains and thus may not be too concerning despite their higher transmissibility.
Nonetheless, we hope Singaporeans will continue to stay vigilant and practise good social and individual responsibility. We also hope those who’re not yet fully vaccinated will do so ASAP to protect themselves and those around them.
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Featured image adapted from Nigeta Yuya on Flickr.