Singapore's Ministry of Health today sounded a warning about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced that it will be taking several actions to slow down community transmission.
Interacting with reporters, Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force, said the transmission rate of COVID-19 has to be slowed down which Singapore will attempt to do without going into another phase of heightened alert.
“Currently, the reproduction rate or R is more than one. Cases are doubling every week. And if we continue on this trajectory of infection, it means we could have 1,000 cases in two weeks, or possibly 2,000 cases in a month,” he said.
Wong, who is also Singapore's Finance Minister, said that drawing from the experience of other countries, when cases rise “so sharply” there will be many more cases in the ICU and more people succumbing to the virus and that slowing down the transimission of the virus is the most effective countermeasure.
“We will attempt to do so without going back to another heightened alert. And in particular, we will go for aggressive contact tracing and ringfencing of cases and clusters, and push for more pervasive testing,” he added.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the community has almost doubled to more than 1,200 in the past week, up from about 600 in the week before, the MOH said in a separate press release today.
“We need to take quick action now to dampen the increasing likelihood of an exponential increase in cases. This will also buy us time to get more people, in particular seniors, vaccinated as soon as possible, and also to roll out our booster programme to those aged 60 and above,” it read.
The MOH also encouraged people to reduce their non-essential social activities for the next two weeks.