Covid-19 cases in S'pore surge to 56,043 during Dec. 3-9 week

Time to wear a mask.

Zhangxin Zheng | December 15, 2023, 11:23 PM



The estimated number of Covid-19 cases in the week of Dec. 3 to Dec. 9 rose to 56,043 cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Dec. 15.

This was a significant increase from 32,035 cases in the previous week.

The average daily Covid-19 hospitalisations also rose to 350, compared to 225 the week before, and the average daily Intensive Care Unit (ICU) cases increased to nine cases compared to four cases in the previous week, MOH added.

MOH also said that cases infected by JN.1, a sublineage of BA.2.86, currently account for the vast majority of the Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

However, there is currently no clear indication that BA.2.86 or JN.1 are more transmissible or cause more severe disease than other circulating variants.

Making plans to manage this new wave of Covid-19 cases

MOH updated that they have been working with public hospitals for contingency planning.

This includes ensuring adequate manpower and deferring of non-urgent electives to maximise bed capacity for urgent cases in need of acute care.

In addition, hospitals are tapping on step-down facilities like Transitional Care Facilities and alternative care models like Mobile Inpatient Care@Home (MIC@Home) to ensure proper right-siting of patients.

This weekend, MOH will also open the second Covid-19 Treatment Facility (CTF) at Singapore Expo Hall 10 to increase CTF capacity.

The other CTF is at Crawfurd Hospital, which can care for more than 80 stable Covid-19 patients who do not require intensive hospital care.

If the need arises, the CTF capacity at EXPO can be further increased, the ministry said.

MOH has also urged the public to seek medical treatment at a hospital’s Emergency Department only for serious or life-threatening emergencies.

"This will preserve our hospital capacity for patients who truly need acute hospital care and allow those with severe illness to receive timely treatment," the ministry said.

Be socially responsible, wear a mask

MOH also "strongly encourages" the public to wear a mask in crowded places even if they are not sick, especially in indoor settings, or when visiting or interacting with vulnerable persons.

Individuals who are unwell with acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms should stay at home until symptoms resolve, and avoid contact with others.

If they have to come into contact with others while unwell, they should wear a mask, minimise their social interactions and avoid crowded places.

Top image via screenshot from BDW Relaxational Travel TV/YouTube video