Singapore hit by fresh Covid wave, more people expected to fall sick: Report

Singapore, Oct 7 (IANS): Singapore is seeing a fresh Covid-19 infection wave, with estimated daily cases rising from about 1,000 three weeks ago to 2,000 in the past two weeks, according to a media report.

The new rise in infection numbers are due to the EG.5 and its sub-lineage HK.3 variants -- descendants of the XBB Omicron variant. Together, they account for more than 75 per cent of cases now.

“This is the second Covid-19 infection wave we have encountered this year. Like for the last wave, which occurred from March to April, there are no plans to impose any social restrictions,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung was quoted as saying by Strait Times.

“We will treat this as an endemic disease and live with it. After all, there has been no evidence to suggest that the new variants are more likely to lead to severe illnesses compared to the previous variants, and all indications showed that current vaccines continue to work well in protecting us from severe illnesses if we’re infected by these new variants,” he added.

While vaccinations plus infection can offer maximum protection, however, that protection can wane around the 12-month interval, the minister said.

Noting that “we should expect more people to fall sick” and thus cause an increase in hospitalisation, he advised seniors aged 60 and above, or those who are medically vulnerable, to keep their vaccination up to date.

Meanwhile, the Health Sciences Authority has given full approval to Paxlovid, an oral antiviral drug for treating Covid-19, for use in Singapore from October, the report said.

The tablet is for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in adult patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe disease, to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death.



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Title: Singapore hit by fresh Covid wave, more people expected to fall sick: Report

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