Significant Rise In Covid-19 Infections In November, MOH Reminds Travellers To Be Vigilant
As the end of the year approaches, Singaporeans are resuming their year-end travelling habits as we mark a full year without Covid-19 restrictions.
However, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has reminded us to stay vigilant even as we embark on “revenge travel”.
That’s because Covid-19 infections in Singapore have shown a “significant rise” over the past month, they said.
Just last week, 22,094 infections were reported — double the number the week before.
Significant rise in Covid-19 infections from 19-25 Nov
In a public advisory on Saturday (2 Dec), MOH said the overall incidence of respiratory illnesses in Singapore has remained stable over the past month, i.e. November.
However, the number of Covid-19 infections has seen a “significant rise” during this period.
This was particularly evident in the week of 19 to 25 Nov (epidemiological week 47), when 22,094 infections were reported.
That’s more than double the number of the previous week when there were 10,726 infections.
Hospitalisations & ICU cases remain stable
Thankfully, the average number of hospitalisations and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) cases due to Covid-19 have remained stable.
There is also no indication that the number of people suffering from severe respiratory illness has increased, including children.
Covid-19 infections do contribute towards the overall number of respiratory illness cases, though, cautioned MOH.
The EG.5 subvariant and its sub-lineage HK.3 are the predominant strains in Singapore as of 27 Nov. They account for over 70% of the cases that have been sequenced.
Again, there is no indication that these strains are more transmissible or cause more severe disease in comparison to others.
Significant rise in Covid-19 could be due to travelling season
One of the factors behind the increase in Covid-19 infections could be the year-end travelling season, MOH said.
Thus, as the peak season for Singaporeans to travel is upon us, MOH reminds all travellers to be vigilant. They should also adopt the relevant travel precautions.
This is especially in light of the increasing reports of respiratory virus activity across the world.
If you’re heading to the northern hemisphere, take note that some temperate countries are seeing or expecting rising numbers of respiratory illnesses during the winter months.
Even if you’re travelling regionally, there have been reports of higher numbers of respiratory illness cases among children and adolescents in China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the trend is not unexpected as it’s now the winter season in many countries.
For more information, travellers can read MOH’s travel advisory.
Singaporeans advised to keep up to date with vaccinations
Another reason for the Covid-19 surge could be waning population immunity, MOH said.
Thus, they advised Singaporeans to keep up to date with their Covid-19 vaccination, encouraging an additional dose about one year after their last dose for everybody aged six months and above.
To that end, updated monovalent Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now available for free at all the usual places, including Joint Testing and Vaccination Centres (JTVCs) and selected polyclinics.
MOH also advised the public to maintain good personal hygiene and wear a mask if leaving home while not feeling well.
Those who are sick should minimise their work and social interactions, especially with vulnerable members of the community.
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