New Covid-19 Variants May Emerge During New Wave
With the end of the year approaching and Covid-19 restrictions down, many are beginning to embark on overseas vacations.
Addressing the expected increase in travel, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has stated that Covid-19 cases will also correspondingly spike.
In addition, he has warned of the potential emergence of new variants, citing China’s Covid-19 situation as an example.
New wave of Covid-19 expected as year-end travel picks up, says Ong Ye Kung
Mr Ong spoke at a Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) event at Nanyang Junior College on 4 Dec.
As year-end travel picks up, Covid-19 cases might increase in a new wave of infections. However, he said it is not something Singapore hasn’t experienced before.
2022 alone saw three such waves. This included the BA.2 Omicron subvariant in April, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in July, and the recent XBB variant.
The government will continue monitoring overseas developments, he added.
New variants of concern
Potential new variants of concern may also emerge, Mr Ong said. Citing Beijing’s Covid-19 situation, he stated:
We can see that more and more people are infected in China, and when that happens, [given] the density and the enormous population of China, there are bound to be new variants of concern.
Addressing Singapore’s situation, in particular, Mr Ong noted that the country’s direction has been “very clear” for the past year.
He added that the nation would open up further whenever it is possible to do so.
“We are left with very few rules, and pretty much life has gone back to normal,” he said. “But where we can, we should take another step forward.”
Over the past 28 days, Singapore has had 44,571 new COVID-19 cases, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports. Among them, 99.7% of patients experienced no or mild symptoms.
However, 0.3% required oxygen supplementation, and 0.04% were in the intensive care unit.
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Featured image adapted from 8world on YouTube.