Singaporeans asked to wear masks, as state records 56,000+ cases of COVID-19 in Dec first week

Just when the world thought it had left masks behind, another COVID-19 wave appears to be on the horizon. The city-state of Singapore has recorded more than 56,000 new cases of the infection in the first week of December; as a precaution, people have been urged to wear masks when out and about, especially in close proximity to others.

Surgical face mask
Surgical face masks are still the first line of defence against the new surge in COVID-19 infections. Photo courtesy: Pixabay/coyot

According to a media release sent out by the Singapore Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday, the number of COVID-19 infections in the island nation was 56,043 in the week of December 3-9. This was a 75 per cent increase over the number of 32,035 infections recorded in Singapore in the preceding week, said the ministry.

From Tuesday (December 19), the health ministry plans to release daily figures of the COVID-19 infection cases in Singapore in order to keep people aware and alert.

As the first line of defence, face masks are back. The MoH has advised people — even if they do not feel sick — to keep the masks on in crowded outdoor spaces; in indoor spaces full of people; and around vulnerable people more susceptible to the infection.

Singapore MoH adding more patient beds

In the media release, the ministry informed the public that a second COVID-19 treatment facility would be opened at Singapore Expo Hall 10 this weekend in order to deal with the surge in numbers. While this would enhance patient intake, a person would get a bed only with a doctor’s recommendation. The first such treatment facility is at Crawfurd Hospital in Adam Road. Together, about 80 patient beds would be available.

“To preserve our healthcare capacity, the MoH has been working with public hospitals for contingency planning, including ensuring adequate manpower and deferring of non-urgent electives to maximise bed capacity for urgent cases in need of acute care,” said the ministry release.

Current data show a sharp increase in the number of patients needing hospital care for the novel coronavirus infection in Singapore — the number stood at 350 daily admissions during the period under review, an increase of 55.5 per cent from the 225 daily admissions in the preceding week.

MoH advises annual COVID-19 booster shots

Apart from wearing masks, keeping up with the necessary vaccination is one way to beat the novel coronavirus. The Singapore MoH has advised people to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine about once a year; there should be at least a 5-month gap between the last shot and the booster shot.

As the novel coronavirus has continued to evolve, with new strains appearing, newer vaccines may be more effective compared to older vaccines developed in the early days of the pandemic. Vaccination against COVID-19 is free under the National Vaccination Programme for Singaporean citizens; permanent residents; long-term pass holders; and some short-term pass holders. More information on vaccination is available at For booking vaccination, visit