Omicron wave ‘imminent’, 17% of local COVID cases of variant now: Ong Ye Kung

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Coronavirus 2019-nCoV variant OMICRON Blood Sample. New Epidemic Corona Virus. South African variant
A blood sample of COVID Omicron variant. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore has to prepare itself for an “imminent” Omicron wave with the COVID variant currently accounting for 17 per cent of local cases, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (3 January).

In a post on his Facebook page, Ong said Omicron cases have “started to creep up” even as the COVID-19 situation continues to be stable.

The number of active local cases over the past week is now 1,200, compared to a peak of over 26,000, Ong said. ICU cases have dropped to about 20 cases, from a peak of about 170 cases, the lowest in the last quarter while deaths are “thankfully low”, he added.

The data signals that the recent COVID-19 wave due to the Delta variant has subsided, at least for now, according to Ong.

“Vaccination and boosters remain the key response,” Ong said.

About 87 per cent of Singapore’s total population have completed their full regimen, and 88 per cent have received at least one dose. In 2021, 41 per cent of the population had received their booster shots, out of about 70 per cent who are or will be eligible, Ong said.

Over the past week, more than 20,000 children aged 9 to 11 years have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, or about half a cohort while many more are scheduled in the coming few weeks.

Singapore can expect new supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine this month, Ong said.

The Ministry of Health said as of Sunday, there were 55 new Omicron cases in Singapore, of whom 36 are local and 119 are imported.

Overall, there were 429 new COVID cases. Of these, 128 were in the community, 297 were imported and four were migrant workers living in dormitories. There was no death due to COVID reported on Sunday.

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