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SINGAPORE — There are "good indications" that the Omicron transmission wave has peaked and is starting to subside, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Wednesday (9 August).
"With that, I hope healthcare workers will finally have a well-deserved and lasting respite," said Ong as he paid tribute to healthcare workers who have been under "tremendous stress" for more than two years as they battle the coronavirus.
"The dedicated and brave women and men of the healthcare sector deserve all the support and understanding we can give."
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 22,201 new COVID-19 cases, up from 13,520 infections a day before, and 15 more deaths in Singapore. Over the last 28 days, 444,923 cases were reported, of whom 99.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms.
The weekly infection growth rate – or ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before – remained at 0.95 on Tuesday. This marks the seventh consecutive day that the rate dipped under one. A figure of less than one means that the number of new weekly cases is on the decline.
Last Friday, a planned streamlining of COVID rules by the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 was again postponed, with MOH citing high daily local case numbers and the "significant pressure" that remains on healthcare workers.
In January, Ong said that Singapore's next steps beyond the current Omicron wave cannot be predicted as it is in the "fog of war".
On Wednesday, Ong said that MOH has been doing its utmost to support healthcare workers, by ensuring sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), prioritising them for vaccinations, decanting as many patients as possible to COVID-19 treatment facilities and more.
Besides clinical protections, "we must protect and stand up for them, against the abuse they suffer under the hands of a small minority of our population," said Ong.
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