Ong Ye Kung Warns Of ‘Much Bigger’ Omicron Wave In Singapore
In recent times, the authorities have warned Singaporeans of an imminent wave of Covid-19 cases as the Omicron variant spreads through our community.
During a multi-ministry task force (MTF) press conference on Wednesday (5 Jan), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Singapore should brace itself for an Omicron wave that’s “much bigger” than the Delta variant.
In the “worst-case scenario”, Singapore may see about 15,000 cases daily—about 3 times the cases during the peak of the Delta wave last year.
Omicron wave might be ‘much bigger’ than Delta wave
On Wednesday (5 Jan), MTF co-chair Ong Ye Kung said Singapore’s Omicron cases could be “a few times” more than the 3,000 infections caused by the Delta variant during the Oct-Nov period last year.
Adding onto Minister Ong’s points, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak of the Ministry of Health (MOH) said Singapore could see up to 15,000 daily Omicron cases at its peak.
This figure is about 3 times the number of cases during the peak of the Delta wave when the country reported over 5,000 daily new infections.
Compared to the Delta variant, which doubled in cases every 6-8 days, Minister Ong said the Omicron strain might double in 2-3 days.
3 out of 2,252 Omicron cases required oxygen treatment
Despite the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, Minister Ong shared some relatively good news concerning the number of severely ill patients.
Of the 2,252 Omicron cases reported in Singapore so far, only 3 required oxygen supplementation.
Furthermore, these patients were taken off support within 3 days and are now recovering.
None of the Omicron cases has required ICU care thus far.
Based on Singapore’s experience, should the 2,252 cases have been of the Delta variant, Mr Ong said we would have seen about 30 patients falling severely ill, and even succumbing to the infection.
Practise restraint as we brave through the storm
Given that Singapore is now on the cusp of an Omicron wave, it’s essential for everyone to follow safety measures and practise social responsibility.
That said, with the Omicron variant being a potentially less severe virus, Singaporeans might also have to interpret our daily case figures differently.
Nonetheless, since it remains unclear how the Omicron wave will affect our medical system, it’s better to be more prudent to exercise restraint during these uncertain times.
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