The current wave of COVID-19 infections in Singapore is being driven by the XBB sub-variant and is likely to peak at an average of 15,000 daily cases by mid-November, the government said on Saturday.
However, projections based on previous waves of infection show that Singapore has adequate healthcare capacity to cope with the rise in the coronavirus cases, the health ministry said.
In Singapore, XBB is now the predominant subvariant, accounting for 54 per cent of local cases from October 3 to 9, the Channel News Asia reported. First detected in August, it has been found in more than 17 countries, including Australia, Denmark, India and Japan.
The current wave is largely driven by the XBB strain, and reinfections are also contributing to the wave, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told a press conference.
The wave will likely peak by around mid-November, he said.
“This is likely to be a short and sharp wave,” Ong said, adding that the country is likely to see about 15,000 daily cases on average by mid-November.
While Singapore is striving to never go back to the restrictions of the circuit breaker period during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Ong urged Singaporeans to take personal responsibility amid the new wave of infections.
Bringing back stricter mask mandates or other safe management measures cannot be ruled out, he said.
“We are monitoring the XBB wave closely and the impact on the healthcare system to see if some of these measures are necessary,” The Straits Times quoted Ong as saying.
Meanwhile, seniors and immuno-compromised people are advised to continue to wear masks in crowded indoor settings.
Those who are well are encouraged to work from home if they can do so, while those with mild flu-like symptoms are also encouraged to consider teleconsultations with their doctors, the health ministry said.
As of October 14, Singapore had a total of 1,997,847 cases of COVID-19 and 1,641 deaths linked to the disease.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)