Singapore’s recent surge in Covid cases, driven by the JN.1 variant, may be reaching its peak, according to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. The country reported 56,043 cases in the week of December 3 to 9, a 75% increase from the previous week. While the situation may get slightly worse before improving, the seven-day moving average has shown signs of plateauing. Ong emphasized the importance of staying vigilant and keeping up with vaccinations to combat the virus.
The JN.1 variant, classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization, is the dominant strain in Singapore’s recent wave of infections. Despite concerns about new variants, Ong highlighted that the impact is not necessarily milder; instead, the effectiveness of vaccinations has contributed to managing the situation.
Ong cautioned that the effectiveness of existing measures, including vaccinations and boosters, may wane over time. He urged the public to brace for the possibility of Covid becoming more serious and emphasized the continued importance of vaccination as a primary defense.
The health ministry has also advised the public to wear masks in crowded spaces, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms, particularly in places like airports and indoor settings. Monitoring hospitalization rates remains crucial, with Ong highlighting it as a key metric to watch.
Singapore transitioned to an endemic norm in February, exiting the acute phase of Covid. While certain measures were relaxed, Ong stressed the need for ongoing vigilance and adherence to public health guidelines to manage the evolving situation effectively.
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