Singapore’s Reopening Resolve Tested as Covid Deaths Hit Record
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore posted a record eight deaths from Covid-19 on Wednesday, a potential test of the government’s resolve to reopen amid fears tied to its recent exponential increase in infections.
New cases topped 2,200 for a second straight day even as the government reimplemented some domestic curbs to combat infection rates that are hitting their highest levels since the pandemic began.
Read More: Singapore’s Daily Infection Rate Highest Among Major Hubs: Chart
While officials said they are committed to reopening the country where four in every five residents are fully vaccinated, the rise in the death toll doesn’t bode well. Public perceptions of the virus situation are already strained in the city-state, where strict social measures to combat the pathogen have been in place for well over a year.
Of those whose deaths were reported on Wednesday, six were unvaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health. All were seniors aged 72 to 90. The deaths brings the total loss of life from the virus in Singapore to 93.
Still, evidence remains that high vaccination rates are warding off many serious infections. More than 98% of the 26,088 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 28 days had mild or no symptoms.
Thirty-four patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, breaking the prior record of 32 from April, and 197 need oxygen supplementation, according to government data. Most of them are seniors, older than the age of 60.
“We are committed to reopening our economy and our society progressively, but our aim has always been to do this without putting too much stress on our hospital system,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong told Bloomberg on Monday. “We want to keep our health care system intact and under control, and we want to avoid unnecessary deaths.”
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