Cases of XBB Omicron subvariant rising fast, but no evidence of more severe outcomes: Ong Ye Kung

The new Omicron subvariant has been detected in several other countries since August 2022.

Mandy How | October 11, 2022, 03:33 PM

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) is rolling out the bivalent Moderna/Spikevax vaccine three days early, from Oct. 17 to Oct. 14, 2022.

The operation teams were able to complete their preparations earlier, and early administration of the vaccine will be beneficial against the rising number of infections due to the XBB Omicron subvariant, MOH explained.

Health minister Ong Ye Kung, as well as trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong, received their bivalent vaccines today (Oct. 11) at the Joint Testing & Vaccination Centre (JTVC) Commonwealth.

XBB strain not more serious than other Omicron subvariants

In a media doorstop on the same day, Ong noted that the new Omicron subvariant, known as the XBB strain or BA.2.10, has demonstrated characteristics that it is dominating other subvariants.

This phenomenon has been detected in many parts of the world, Ong said.

According to MOH's website, the XBB subvariant has been found in Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, India, Japan and the U.S. since August 2022.

The health minister added:

"But in Singapore it is rising very fast. Within three weeks, from nothing, it is now over half of all the daily cases. So obviously outcompeting BA.2.75 and also BA.5.

But so far, what is good is that there has been no evidence that it leads to more severe outcomes. So we are watching it very closely and we will update the public when we have more news."

Ong also said that Singapore should expect 10,000 cases or more on Oct. 11, as Tuesdays typically see a doubling of cases from Mondays.

As of Oct. 10, 12pm, the week on week infection ratio stands at 1.74.

A figure above 1 indicates that the number of new weekly Covid-19 cases is rising.

The seven-day moving average of local cases is currently 5,653.

Image via MOH

Image via MOH

Top photo by Mandy How