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June 5, 2024

Singapore Experiences COVID Wave, Malaysia Becomes Cautious

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June 5, 2024

From May 5 to 11, Singapore reported 25,900 cases of COVID-19, a 90% increase in cases compared to the week prior. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is closely monitoring the recent rise, advising residents to mask up, and recommending that vulnerable individuals receive an additional vaccination if they did not last year. While average daily hospitalizations rose to 250, the average intensive daily care unit (ICU) remained low at three cases. Pharmacies are currently seeing a 150% rise in demand for testing kits and are continuing to be well-stocked for rising demands. The two sub-variants of JN.1, KP.1 and KP.2, have made up over two-thirds of Singapore’s COVID-19 cases. The World Health Organization recently listed KP.2 as a Variant Under Monitoring.
Though the KP.2 is slightly more infectious than JN.1, it is not more severe than other variants. Professor Tambyah, president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, stated that KP.1 and KP.2 will follow the behavior of all other viruses as they evolve - more transmissible and less virulent. According to MoH, 80% of Singapore’s population have received their initial dose of vaccination but have not taken additional shots in the past year. This suggests that collective immunity in the population has likely waned. To provide vaccination accessibility for seniors, the MoH will deploy mobile vaccination teams into selected localities.
Singapore is not the only country experiencing the COVID wave as Malaysia has also reported a 14.8% increase in COVID cases during the week of May 12. However, there have been no new COVID-related deaths reported since April 25. According to Malaysia’s MoH, this surge is independent of Singapore’s because only two cases of Singapore’s dominant variants have been reported in Malaysia since March. Meanwhile, the flow of Malaysians immigrants residing in Singapore and traveling back home on holidays remains strong as usual. While there are no restrictions or lockdown measures imposed, both Ministries are encouraging their citizens to practice personal hygiene and avoid large crowds.

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