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By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, Sept 17 -- Since the latest wave of the COVID-19 infection in the community began on Aug 23, Singapore has detected over 8,000 COVID-19 cases.
However, the patients “are not doing badly” with over 98 per cent having no symptoms or just showing mild symptoms as most of them have been inoculated.
Only 10 of the over 8,000 cases needed ICU (intensive care unit) care while three succumbed, said the republic’s Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung at a virtual press conference today.
“There is no doubt that if our population had not come forward and got vaccinated in big numbers, we would have seen numerous deaths right now, and our healthcare system would probably have been overwhelmed already.
“But we have avoided that thus far because of our very high vaccination coverage,” said Ong.
As of Sept 15, a total of 82 per cent of Singapore’s population have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 84 per cent have received at least one dose.
Today, on the 26th day of the current wave, the minister said the republic had expected the daily cases to double about every week “from 100 to 200, to 400, 400 to 800 and it is now in its fourth doubling cycle.”
“So, I think let's be prepared that we are likely to cross the 1,000-mark soon, and it is not unexpected.
“It is a typical behavior of a transmission wave, which typically picks between four up to eight weeks or 30, 40, sometimes 50 days.”
Ong noted that Singapore is currently on the path of transition to a new normal of living with COVID-19.
“It is a journey that is uncertain and full of twists and turns.
“Every country that chooses this path to live with COVID-19 will sooner or later have to undergo a major wave of transition that we are seeing now with an exponential rise in daily cases,” he said.
According to Ong, in the transition roadmap which has four stages Singapore had hoped that this transmission wave would come later, but it had presented itself much earlier “largely because Delta (variant) is just so much more infectious.”
“For us, we are going through this only after we have fully vaccinated about 80 per cent of our population,” he said.
The republic’s total caseload currently stood at 74, 848 with 5, 538 active cases.
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