Singapore Boosts ICU Beds as Serious Infections Remain High
Singapore is increasing the number of hospital beds in intensive care units as serious Covid-19 infections in the current outbreak remain at an elevated level.
Authorities will set up 280 ICU beds this week, up from about 200 now, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post on Sunday. Slightly more than 68% of Singapore’s ICU beds are occupied, the health ministry said in a statement Sunday.
“Our hospital capacity is dynamic — we step them up as the number of cases that require acute or ICU care goes up, and vice versa,” Ong said. “But with each increase, healthcare workers will come under even greater strain. There is a human limit.”
Singapore is trying to ease the strain on the healthcare system by maintaining domestic restrictions at least until late November, including limiting social gatherings to two people. Daily infections surged above 5,000 for the first time last week, with 3,163 new cases reported on Sunday. ICU bed capacity is being closely watched as authorities warn of hospitals being overwhelmed.
Janil Puthucheary, senior minister of state at the health ministry, will give an update in Parliament on Monday on the ICU situation and hospital capacity. He will also explain the possible course of action and the trade-offs Singapore is facing, Ong said.
Singapore has one of the highest inoculation rates in the world, allowing its government to open borders up with vaccinated travel lanes including to parts of Europe, Australia, Canada and the U.S. As of Sunday, 84% of the population was fully vaccinated, the health ministry reported.
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