Singapore now has at least 153 Omicron cases, including 23 local

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
People cycle and walk after sunset in the Gardens by the Bay park in Singapore on Saturday, 6 November, 2021. (Photo by Joseph Nair/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People cycle and walk after sunset in Gardens by the Bay in Singapore on 6, November, 2021. (PHOTO: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NOTE: The MOH has stopped issuing daily media releases on infection statistics. In line with the MOH's announcement, has also stopped its daily WhatsApp updates on such statistics.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (24 December) confirmed 265 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 277,307 – as well as 82 more Omicron cases.

This brings the total number of those infected with Omicron here to at least 153. 

Of the 82 more cases of the new variant, 17 are locally transmitted while 65 are imported. Altogether, there are at least 23 local and 130 imported Omicron cases, including the 6 local and 65 imported cases confirmed by the MOH early Tuesday morning.

The ministry added that from Friday, COVID-19 cases who tested positive for the S-gene target failure (SGTF) will be categorised as Omicron cases, without additional whole-genome sequencing (WGS). 

"Based on our local experience, if a person tests positive for SGTF, it is very likely that it is an Omicron variant. This is aligned to the practice in other countries, and does not change our existing public health actions which are already triggered on the basis of detecting SGTF," the ministry noted.

Due to the change, the number of Omicron cases will see a one-time substantial increase from the last update, as samples pending WGS have been included in Friday's count, the MOH said.

No COVID deaths for 1st time in 96 days

Friday marks the 22nd day in a row with less than 1,000 cases reported in the city-state.

It is also the first day in 96 days with no fatality from COVID reported here. A total of 97 people have succumbed to it this month. 

Of the new cases, 186 are local – 177 are in the community and nine are residents of migrant worker dormitories. The remaining 79 are imported. 

This comes a day after the highest number of imported cases, 89, was reported. The figure overtook the previous high of 76 such cases on Wednesday.

The ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before – or the weekly infection growth rate – is 0.52, down from Thursday's 0.57. It is the 42nd day in a row where the figure is lower than 1.

Apart from the 820 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

45 require oxygen supplementation; 29 in ICU

A total of 388 cases were discharged on Friday, while 413 are hospitalised. Over the last 28 days, of the 16,622 infected individuals, 98.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms.

There are currently 45 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation.

A total of 29 cases are in the intensive care unit (ICU) – 10 are unstable and under close monitoring to prevent further deterioration, while 19 are critically ill and intubated.

The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 51.7 per cent, up from 50 per cent on Thursday.

As of Thursday, the total number of individuals who have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines is 96 per cent of the eligible population.

Among the total population, 87 per cent have done so, while 88 per cent have received at least one dose, and 36 per cent have received their booster shots.

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