Covid-19 XBB wave to peak at 15,000 average daily cases by mid-November, healthcare capacity adequate: Ong Ye Kung
SINGAPORE — The ongoing wave of Covid-19 infections will likely see daily cases reaching between 20,000 and 25,000 by Tuesday (Oct 18), but this wave will likely peak by mid-November and there is adequate capacity in the healthcare system to cope, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Saturday.
SINGAPORE — The ongoing wave of Covid-19 infections will likely see average daily cases reach a peak of 15,000 by mid-November before subsiding, and there is adequate capacity in the healthcare system to cope, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Saturday (Oct 15).
In fact, the number of cases to be reported on a single day in the coming weeks could even reach between 20,000 and 25,000, due to a backlog of cases as people avoid visiting doctors over the weekend.
But despite the high number of infections, severe cases are expected to remain low.
Giving an update on the local Covid-19 situation during a press conference, Mr Ong said XBB is now the predominant subvariant circulating in the community, accounting for 54 per cent of local cases during the week between Oct 3 and Oct 9, up from 22 per cent the previous week.
In a separate statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the previous dominant subvariant, BA.5, is now estimated to account for 21 per cent of local cases, while the subvariant BA. 2.75 is estimated to account for 24 per cent of cases.
The XBB subvariant may also be driving an increase in reinfections, MOH added.
The ministry said the proportion of reinfections among total Covid-19 cases in Singapore has been increasing over the past month, with reinfections currently making up about 17 per cent of total new cases.
Depite the oncoming wave, MOH said that Singapore’s healthcare capacity remains protected.
To date, it said, the increase in hospitalised cases remains proportionate to the rise in overall local cases.
As of Friday, MOH said 562 cases were hospitalised, 44 required oxygen supplementation and nine were in the intensive care unit (ICU). A week ago, there were 365 hospitalisations, 37 cases who needed oxygen supplementation and 13 cases in the ICU.
This is despite the seven-day moving average of local cases rising from 4,714 to 7,716 cases over the same period, MOH said.
In response to to the surge of Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, MOH said public hospitals have rapidly activated various measures to operate about an additional 200 beds to care for hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
These include deferring non-urgent admissions, discharging stable patients, and transferring recovering patients to transitional care facilities and community hospitals.
The ministry said that in the coming two weeks, public hospitals will operate a total of more than 800 beds for Covid-19 patients.
The ministry will also step up capacity at Covid-19 treatment facilities (CTF) in stages to provide over 800 beds by early November.
“Given that we were able to quickly ramp up to the same capacity and beyond, our projections on healthcare utilisation show that we have adequate ICU, hospital and CTF beds to cope with the upcoming wave,” said MOH.
Related topicsCovid-19 Ong Ye Kung MOH
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