No spike, low daily Covid-19 cases despite Chinese New Year holidays in Singapore, says health minister

This is the first Chinese New Year celebration since pandemic restrictions were eased in 2022. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, Jan 28 (The Straits Times/ANN): The Covid-19 situation in Singapore has stabilised, with new daily cases remaining low over the Chinese New Year holidays, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has announced.

Daily recorded case numbers were in the “low three digits” over the long weekend, dropping to 78 on Monday, he said.

He noted that it had been a while since the number of daily Covid-19 infections was in the double-digit range, though he acknowledged that this could be due to the public holiday period.

This is the first Chinese New Year celebration since pandemic restrictions were eased in 2022.

There was also no spike in reported infections following the long weekend, with Covid-19 cases going up to about 500 on Thursday, and emergency departments at hospitals managed to hold their ground, said Ong.

“I know we no longer scrutinise (daily Covid-19) numbers like that, but over Chinese New Year, I looked at the numbers and the situation closely, and I think things are stabilised,” he said.

The minister was speaking at an event marking the official opening of the NTUC Health Jurong Spring nursing home in Jurong West Street 52.

He said that an ageing population is probably the “biggest social issue” facing this generation.

He pointed out that the pandemic had delayed the opening of many nursing homes here, resulting in a bottleneck as hospital patients requiring long-term care could not be discharged to nursing homes to receive rehabilitation care.

This, in turn, caused a crunch in hospitals and their emergency departments, he said, adding that this showed the importance of having the whole healthcare ecosystem working in sync.

Ong noted that many here are concerned about China’s reopening, and whether surging infection numbers there will impact Singapore.

The low number of flights between China and Singapore – 38 flights a week at present – means imported cases coming from the country are very low, he said.

There were also no imported Covid-19 cases from China over the past week, he added.

The coronavirus situation here is stable, and the authorities look forward to going back to “even greater normalcy in the not-too-distant future”, he said. - The Straits Times/ANN

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