Singapore sees Covid crisis settling down as cases start to fall

SINGAPORE’S latest Covid-19 wave driven by omicron variant look to be cresting from a mid-July high, as its health minister said this week that infection tide is “coming to a peak, and starting to turn”.

Average infections over a seven-day period in the city-state fell to 8,383 as of midday July 26, from a high of 10,198 on July 19, according to data from the health ministry. The country’s week-over-week infection ratio declined to 0.82.

“When the crisis has settled down — I think it largely has now — people will take their hats off to all healthcare workers, especially nurses, because you are there as a pillar of strength,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in an address to local nurses, according to a transcript released by the Ministry of Health.

This could provide some respite to Singapore’s public hospitals which have seen an increase in emergency visits in recent weeks. Ong on Monday said the country’s hospital situation remains busy but stable.

Singapore has largely resisted reimposing tighter measures during the current wave, reaffirming its stance toward living with Covid-19. Around 93% of the total population is double-vaccinated, while more than three in four have also had a booster.

The easing virus outbreak put the Southeast Asian nation in stark contrast with other Pacific cities knee-deep in the Omicron wave. Tokyo reported its highest number of Covid cases for the entire pandemic last week, with its hospital occupancy rate more than doubling. Los Angeles raised its Covid-19 alert level, and warned an indoor mask mandate could return if cases stay high. — Bloomberg