Singapore’s Covid Infection Rate Jumps as Omicron Cases Rise
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s week-on-week infection growth rate, a measure tracking the spread of Covid-19 in the community, rose above 1 for the first time in almost two months as omicron variant cases in the city-state increased.
The rate increased to 1.09 from 0.95 the previous day, the Ministry of Health said late Tuesday on its website. The measure reached 1.04 on Nov. 12 and had fallen to a low of 0.52 on Dec. 24 before climbing again.
The infection growth rate is a key measure the government uses to decide on its Covid measures. Current rules include social gatherings of up to five people in public areas and restaurants, while only fully vaccinated people can enter shopping malls and offices. The city-state is trying to stay the course in a gradual reopening path and avoid dialing back on easing as it had previously done.
The spread of the omicron variant in recent weeks has already prompted Singapore to tighten its borders again by temporarily halting ticket sales on its quarantine-free travel routes until later this month. The island city has been bracing for an surge in cases as the Health Minister Ong Ye Kung warned a wave is imminent and the nation has to be prepared through vaccinations and booster jabs.
Most of Singapore’s cases found each day are imported -- 502 of the 842 total cases in the city-state Jan. 4 came from abroad. Of the 438 omicron cases confirmed on Jan. 4, 347 were imported and 91 were local.
Despite the climb in cases, Singapore’s hospitalizations remain low, with more intensive care unit beds available than in use. The country is also bolstered by one of the highest vaccination rates in the world -- 87% of the total population are fully inoculated and more than 40% have gotten their booster shots.
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