Singapore Makes Home Recovery Key for More Covid Patients
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore has made home recovery the default for certain Covid-19 patients this week and plans to include more age groups, the government said on Friday, in a further sign the country was looking to transition to living with the virus.
Home recovery has started for suitable patients aged below 50 from Sept. 15. The government plans to widen the group from Saturday to include fully-vaccinated people aged 69 and below who can self-isolate.
“Every country that chooses this path to live with Covid will sooner or later have to undergo a major wave of transmission that we are seeing now with exponential rise in daily cases,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a media briefing.
Singapore has so far refrained from reimposing sweeping lockdowns despite approaching a record number of daily infections that topped 900 on Thursday. That’s in part due to more than 80% of the country’s population getting fully vaccinated and the government’s focus to maintain a low number of severe infections as a means to further reopen the economy and its borders safely.
Government officials have warned the number of total cases may soon breach 2,000 per day. Yet Singapore reported 77 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation on Thursday, with 12 in intensive care.
With one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, Singapore began rolling out booster shots this week to seniors 60 years and above, residents in elder care homes and the immunocompromised. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot this morning, he said in a Facebook post.
Here are some other measures and key points from the briefing:
- The government looking to see 70% of all cases opting for home recovery that relieves pressure on hospitals.
- The Heath Sciences Authority still has more requests for information on Sinovac vaccines.
- Singapore is ready to increase intensive care unit capacity in hospitals with about 300 beds easily converted in short notice. The government is also ramping up capacity of care facilities by another 1,000 beds.
- With Indonesia’s Covid situation showing improvement, Singapore will ease some restrictions for travelers from the country from Sept. 23 including fewer testing requirements.
- Vaccinated travelers from France, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Latvia and Bulgaria can now opt to serve their 14-day quarantine from home, starting from Sept. 23.
- Singapore is deploying 100 vending machines to distribute antigen rapid test kits.
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