betty July 5, 2022

SINGAPORE – Singapore is near, if not already at, the peak of the current wave of Covid-19 infections, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Tuesday (July 5).

He told Parliament that the number of cases is expected to cross 12,000 on Tuesday – about 10 per cent higher than the same time last week.

“There are indications that we are near the peak, if not at the peak, and we should be relieved that the number this week did not double from last week. Otherwise, we’ll be at 24,000 or 22,000 this week,” said Mr Ong.

He said the current wave will not be as severe as the previous Omicron wave, as many people have gained stronger immunity through booster shots or recovery from infections, which will reduce transmission of the virus.

The key, as before, is to ensure that hospital capacity is not overly stressed, he added in response to questions from MPs.

Mr Ong said the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations here have reached almost 700, though this remains below the figure of around 1,700 cases during the Omicron wave earlier this year.

Responding to Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang), he said the hospitals have cut back about 4 per cent of the load from non-Covid-19 patients – these are mostly elective procedures – compared with a cut of 15 per cent during the earlier wave.

With public hospitals continuing to face high demand, Mr Ong said more Covid-19 Treatment Facilities (CTFs) could be converted to take in non-Covid-19 patients.

One existing CTF at Sengkang Community Hospital has been reconfigured to cater to both sets of patients, he noted.

“Over time, we hope more of our CTFs can be multi-purpose isolation and treatment facilities, for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients,” he said.

Giving an update on Covid-19 healthcare subsidies, he told the House that the Government has spent about $730 million and $220 million subsidising inpatient and outpatient treatments for Covid-19 respectively as at the end of the 2021 financial year.