Gan Kim Yong Predicts That Singapore Will Have A Covid-19 Death ‘At Some Point In Time’
Of the 117 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Singapore so far, 81 have fully recovered. Significantly, no deaths have been reported so far, and hopefully it stays that way.
However, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong doesn’t think this will be the case.
Predicting deaths from Covid-19, patients in critical condition
Mr Gan was quoted by The Straits Times in a briefing on Friday (6 Mar) that the “inevitable” would happen:
So far our healthcare workers are working very hard and trying their best to support them and hopefully they can recover. But it’s inevitable that at some point in time, we will see fatalities from Covid-19, as we’ve seen all around the world.
He further informed us that the Covid-19 patients who are currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are in quite critical condition.
Among the 36 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, 7 are in the ICU as of 5 Mar.
Medical services director Kenneth Mak, who was at the same press conference, revealed more about the ICU patients, saying:
There are some individuals in the ICU who are ill, (they) all require oxygen support, which for a large involves the use of a ventilator. A number of these individuals have received other treatments, including the use of antiviral medications.
Successive warnings from the health minister
Earlier on 12 Feb, Mr Gan, who co-chairs a multi-ministry task force to tackle the coronavirus, had already mentioned that we had to be prepared for the worst:
While most infected patients will recover, some may become seriously ill, and a small number may succumb to the infection ultimately. We have to be prepared for the worst.
At another press conference on 26 Feb, Mr Gan warned against more imported cases, as he was quoted by The Straits Times as saying:
While we have seen the number of new cases here in Singapore remain low over the last few days, we must remain aware that the global situation remains dynamic and we cannot afford to be complacent.
Singapore needs to be aware of the situation worldwide
As it happens, the rest of the world is seeing growing numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases each day.
Italy has the second deadliest outbreak outside of China
While Singapore has been largely successful in managing the outbreak, there is the risk of the coronavirus being imported into the country still looms large, as we cannot be completely shut off from the world.
Preparing us for the worst
While we truly hope this is not the case, Mr Gan may be preparing us for the worst.
Even if nobody dies, we should still be prepared for the situation to take a turn for the worse.