Singapore sees dramatic rise of 6,888 new Covid-19 cases


There is usually a spike in case numbers on Tuesdays, due to people socialising over the weekend. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): There were 6,888 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday (Oct 4), a jump from the 2,587 new local cases the day before.

There is usually a spike in case numbers on Tuesdays, due to people socialising over the weekend.

The increase comes days after the return of the F1 Grand Prix race that attracted more than 300,000 people at the weekend. The race was not held in the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Infectious diseases expert Leong Hoe Nam in response to queries said the increase was rather dramatic and could have been due to the festivities at the race.

He said: “If you project the increase in numbers over the past two weeks, Tuesday’s should be at around 5,000 plus, rather than 6,888.

“I guess everyone was simply mask down and bottoms up with infection cases rising subsequently.”

However, infectious diseases specialist Paul Tambyah said the incubation period, even for new variants of the virus, is between three and four days, and those infected on Saturday and Sunday are unlikely to be testing positive.

Another likely reason for the spike is the large number of people now moving in and out of the country, not just for F1, added Professor Tambyah.

He said: “Terminal 4 is now reopened and there are many more people coming in to Singapore and Singaporeans travelling for long delayed holidays.”

MOH on Sept 30 said higher case counts were to be expected over the next few weeks, driven mainly by an increase in Omicron variant BA.2.75 infections.

It urged people to go for their vaccine booster shots and added that it would continue to monitor the situation.

MOH said the higher number of cases has, so far, not led to more severe disease or had a significant impact on Singapore’s healthcare system.

The BA.2.75 variant also does not appear to be more dangerous, it added.

The new Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75, dubbed Centaurus, was first detected in India in early May and has since infected people in a raft of countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and Canada.

It is still being studied by experts worldwide.

The week-on-week infection ratio was at 1.56, and over the last 28 days, 68,891 people have tested positive.

Of these, 99.8 per cent of them had mild or no symptoms, MOH said.

Dr Leong said this trend is normal and each new variant will bring a spike in numbers before the situation settles again.

He said, so far, most people are reporting only a mild cough and sore throat and perhaps, a fever that will last for a few days.

“As long as the hospitalised or intensive care case numbers do not spike up significantly, it is acceptable,” he added.

The MOH website on Tuesday said 286 people were in hospital, up from 257 the day before. There were 11 people in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 28 on oxygen supplementation.

Prof Tambyah said the good news is the rise in cases has not resulted in a spike in ICU numbers or critically ill cases.

This, he added, suggests that Covid-19 may be on course to become more transmissible and less lethal – a path taken by other viruses like the once-deadly Spanish flu.

Prof Tambyah said: “The authorities need to have the confidence to press on with the current approach, which seems to be in line with global trends and has not led to any major health crises in other settings.

“At most, they may delay lifting the mask mandate on public transport but I do not think that there is any solid scientific justification for changing course.”

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