Singapore sees Omicron coronavirus wave outpacing Delta

Singapore | Wed, January 5, 2022

Singapore expects the Omicron coronavirus variant to cause a larger wave of infections than Delta, according to the health ministry, adding that a booster dose will soon be required for adults to remain fully vaccinated.

To continue to be considered fully vaccinated, eligible persons aged 18 and up must have received a booster dose no later than 270 days after the last dose in the primary vaccination series as of Feb. 14, according to the ministry.

Only those who have been fully vaccinated are permitted to enter malls, dine in restaurants, or visit hawker stalls in the city-state of 5.5 million people.

Over the last week, Singapore has identified 1,281 Omicron cases, including 1,048 from outside the country and 233 from within the country. In the previous week, it accounted for approximately 18% of total infections.

The Delta variant reached a peak of about 5,000 cases per day, while Omicron could far exceed this, leading to as many as 10,000-15,000 cases in the worst-case scenario, according to Kenneth Mak, the health ministry’s director of medical services.

On Tuesday, the country’s week-on-week infection ratio reached 1.09 for the first time in nearly two months, indicating that the number of new weekly local COVID-19 cases is increasing.

Authorities said on Wednesday that the COVID-19 situation was under control and that they would stick to current COVID-19 rules, such as limiting social gatherings to five people during the expected Omicron wave and the Chinese New Year period, which is coming up in about a month. The government has stated that it will only tighten regulations as a last resort.

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