13,046 Covid-19 cases in S'pore? No worries, doctors reassure public.

This is what it is like living with endemic Covid-19.

Belmont Lay | February 06, 2022, 04:04 AM

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What's the shocking figure?

Locally transmitted Covid-19 cases tripled on Friday, Feb. 4 to 13,046 cases.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, there were 4,087 cases.

Why it's not as troubling as it appears?

About 80 per cent of Friday's figures were identified by antigen rapid tests.

ARTs indicate infections have yielded only mild symptoms and are of low risk.

What are doctors in Singapore saying?

The Straits Times spoke to various doctors here to interpret this surge in numbers.

The doctors agree that hospitalisation and intensive care unit occupancy rates are more important indicators of the severity of the latest variant spread, not the total cases.

What are hospital numbers showing?

The number of people hospitalised have not increased with Friday's surge.

Covid-19 patients still occupy just 15 of the 375 beds available in the ICU.

What caused the tripling of Covid-19 cases?

Professor Paul Tambyah, president of the Asia-Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection suggested to ST that the surge was due to clinics reopening on Thursday, Feb. 3 after Chinese New Year the previous two days, and dealing with a backlog of cases.

He also said the surge was steady and predicted beforehand by the government, which estimated daily Covid-19 cases to hit between 13,000 and 20,000 per day.

What will happen after the surge?

Professor Dale Fisher, a senior infectious diseases consultant at the National University Hospital, told ST that Feb. 4's numbers were an "anomaly".

The focus, he said, would be on ICU cases, which are currently 10 per cent of what it was a few months ago -- indicating that catching Covid-19 is less threatening now.

What is endemic Covid-19 in Singapore?

Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, told the national newspaper that getting Covid-19 is "a rite of passage for everyone living on Earth".

What else did the doctors say?

The doctors also made numerous other comments as reported by ST, such as the reassurance that social restrictions will not be tightened in response to the latest figures as it would be inappropriate and too reactionary, despite some members of the public calling for it to be reconsidered.

Top photo via Unsplash

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