On Friday, Oct. 1, the Southeast Asian city-state recorded a new high of 2,909 new COVID-19 cases, according to its Ministry of Health. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, Singapore broke the record again with 3,486 new COVID-19 cases.
Tuesday’s record-breaking new case count was the first time the small nation of nearly 5.7 million people recorded more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. This puts Singapore’s total reported COVID-19 cases at nearly 110,000.
Singapore has 1,512 patients in hospitals. Of those, 247 require oxygen and 34 are in critical condition in intensive care units. Of those who require oxygen and are in critical care, nearly all are above the age of 60.
The Health Ministry also recorded nine new deaths related to COVID-19. Three of the dead were unvaccinated, two were partially vaccinated and the remaining four were fully vaccinated. The Health Ministry says that all of the new COVID-19 fatalities had various underlying medical conditions that led to their deaths.
This is the 16th straight day that the city-state has recorded deaths from COVID-19, taking the country’s coronavirus death toll to 130.
Of the 3,486 new COVID-19 infections reported on Tuesday, 2,767 came from local Singaporean communities and 713 came from the dormitories housing migrant workers. The remaining six cases were imported from abroad.
Singapore has the highest vaccination rate in Southeast Asia and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
As of Monday, Oct. 4, the city-state has administered about 9.31 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Around 4.6 million people have received at least one dose, and 4.53 million are fully vaccinated. The Health Ministry also reported administering an additional 203,051 doses on Monday.
This would mean that around 84 percent of the population is fully vaccinated and 85 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Health Ministry’s latest report states that around 600,000 people – mostly senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems – are eligible to receive booster COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Of those eligible people, 321,228 have already received boosters and another 107,000 have already booked appointments. Singapore also has plans to expand the pool of citizens eligible to receive booster doses soon. (Related: Vaccinated people account for 75% of coronavirus infections in Singapore.)
Singapore preparing to deal with over 5,000 new cases a day
Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung informed the Parliament on Monday that the government is ramping up healthcare capacity to be able to handle up to 5,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. There are also contingency plans on how to handle up to 10,000 infections a day.
The Health Ministry claims that a vast majority of those new cases – around 98 percent according to its recent estimates – will be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms at worst.
This claim does not fit well with the fact that the Health Ministry is working to expand the availability of beds in COVID-19 treatment facilities all over the country. Nearly 600 beds have been set up across four COVID-19 treatment facilities over the past week. The Health Ministry has further plans to expand nine other facilities by providing them with 3,700 new beds in total.
Ong has acknowledged that all of Singapore’s COVID-19 healthcare protocols have become very confusing for the country’s citizens. The multi-ministry task force to combat COVID-19 will be reviewing these regulations to figure out how to simplify them.
“Because if people don’t understand, they can’t do their part to exercise personal responsibility, much less help others,” says Ong.
Learn more about the COVID-19 regulations in Singapore and other countries around the world by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.