7,109 new Covid-19 cases; 23% rise in community cases in past week driven by Omicron BA.4, BA.5 subvariants: MOH
SINGAPORE — Singapore has seen a 23 per cent week-on-week increase in community infections of Covid-19, largely driven by the two Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (June 21).
There were 6,393 new infections in the community. Along with 716 imported ones, there were a total of 7,109 daily cases.
The BA.4 and BA.5 made up 30 per cent of community cases in the past week, as compared to 17 per cent, 8 per cent and 3 per cent for the previous three weeks respectively.
"Although the BA.2 subvariant still accounts for the bulk of our Covid-19 infections, the proportion of BA.4 and BA.5 infections is rising," MOH said.
The "surge in BA.4 and BA.5 cases is likely to continue, driven by their higher transmissibility compared to BA.2", MOH said, but noted that evidence here and abroad has shown that the severity of the two subvariant's infections is similar to that of earlier Omicron strains.
There will be no change to the prevailing safe management measures, which include mask-wearing indoors and vaccine-related infection controls for higher-risk activities.
MOH said that there has not been a significant increase of severe infections in hospitals, and the number of cases in intensive care units (ICUs) remains low.
However, it noted that public hospitals "remain busy caring for non-Covid patients", and many hospitals are experiencing high bed occupancies.
The ministry urged the public to seek treatment at a hospital's emergency department only for serious or life-threatening conditions.
It reiterated that vaccinations remain key in protecting the population against Covid-19, as it called on seniors aged 70 and above, especially those aged 80 and above, to take their second booster shot.
To help with this, MOH said that it will be deploying mobile vaccination teams soon.
From June 23, five new joint testing and vaccination centres located in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Sengkang, Woodlands and Yishun will begin vaccination and Covid-19 testing operations. This will bring the total to 10 such centres across the island.
They will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax) vaccines, while the centre at Bishan will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccines.
Individuals aged 12 years and above may walk in to any of these centres to receive their vaccination and booster.
MOH added that it will be closing the vaccination centre at Raffles City Convention Centre on July 18 to "free up the space for other uses".
The centre will accept appointments made via the National Appointment System and walk-ins for vaccination until July 18.