No Need To Tighten Restrictions Yet, Increase In Covid-19 Cases Not Unexpected: MOH

S’pore Stays In Preparatory Stage, Tightened Measures Only Last Resort: MOH

Singaporeans might be concerned that the number of Covid-19 cases has been rising steadily.

216 community cases were reported on Friday (3 Sep), with 109 unlinked, and some may wonder if the Government would tighten restrictions again.

The answer is no, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

Source

In fact, the increase in Covid-19 cases is not unexpected, due to the easing of measures on 10 Aug, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Singapore in ‘new phase’ of high vaccine coverage

Mr Wong was speaking during a press conference of the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) handling the virus situation on Friday (3 Sep).

He said in the past, when we had a high number of daily cases, the MTF might announce measures like Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) or even a ‘Circuit Breaker’.

However, Singapore’s now in a “new phase”, he added, where we have a high level of vaccine coverage.

Thus, we’re now moving into a phase of “living with Covid and becoming Covid-resilient”.

Tightened restrictions only as last resort

Mr Wong said the MTF’s main focus is not just on daily case numbers any more, as many recently infected people are vaccinated and have only mild or no symptoms.

Instead, they’ll focus on the number of people who need supplementary oxygen or care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

This figure remains stable and under control, he said, adding,

And so we assessed that there is no need to impose tightened restrictions.

Singapore will only revert to tightening restrictions as a “last resort” to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

No loosening of restrictions either

However, while measures won’t be tightened, they won’t be loosened to allow greater freedom either.

Mr Wong said there’s no intention of “any new opening moves at this juncture”.

He cited the time lag between the onset of infections to serious illness, saying some monitoring of the situation is needed.

That means we’ll have to get used to the current vaccination-differentiated measures and 5-person limit on gatherings, as it’ll be like that for awhile yet.

He also pointed out that the Government had initiated pilots like the Vaccinated Travel Lane to Germany and Brunei and,

…We want to allow these pilots to continue over the next few days and weeks before we contemplate further moves.

Increase in cases not unexpected

At the same press conference, MOH director of medical services Kenneth Mak said they’re aware of the increase in cases lately.

Though he acknowledged the increased number of cases will “naturally raise concerns” among the public, the rise is “not unexpected”.

Source

That’s because since we lifted P2HA restrictions, more people are going out for work and social activities, he said.

No new ICU admissions since 21 Aug

However, this rise in cases has so far not resulted in a significant rise in ICU patients, Dr Mak said.

In fact, he shared that there haven’t been any new admissions to the ICU since 21 Aug.

Source

In a media release by MOH on Friday (3 Sep), they said the number ICU patients in the past week has been stable, at around 6-7.

The number of patients needing oxygen supplementation is also trending downwards.

Singapore will stay in Preparatory Stage

As Singapore remains in the current Preparatory Stage, we’ll also refine our public health measures.

That means we’ll expand testing and surveillance efforts by encouraging Singaporeans to test themselves as frequently as possible, using self-test kits.

From 1 Oct, members of the public can also make appointments for fast and easy tests (FETs) at 20 Quick Test Centres (QTCs).

Besides that, a booster vaccine programme will start this month for:

  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised persons
  • Seniors 60 years old and above
  • Residents of aged care facilities

Living life as close to normal as possible

It looks like the Government will let the status quo remain for now, as long as Singapore has a high vaccination rate and our hospitals aren’t overwhelmed.

All this, as we try to stay calm over the rising number of cases.

While we can live our lives as close to normal as possible, don’t be complacent.

Do remember to continue following safe management measures, and keep an eye out for the older and more sickly members of society.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from YouTube and MS News.

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