Singapore records 12,784 new COVID cases, hospital visit measures tightened

Singapore on 5 July 2022 reported 12,784 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day in over three months.
Office workers eat their lunch at the central business district during the coronavirus disease pandemic in Singapore. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — Singapore on Tuesday (5 July) reported 12,784 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day in over three months.

The number surpassed last Tuesday's 11,504 cases, which had been the highest daily infection count since 13,166 new cases were recorded on 22 March.

At 12,248 new local and 536 imported cases in total, Tuesday's figure is slightly more than double that of Monday's 5,946 infections.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases detected in Singapore so far to 1,485,964, according to the Ministry of Health's (MOH) website.

Two more people died from COVID-19, bringing the total death toll here to 1,421. Last Monday, Singapore reported its first COVID-19 fatality who was aged below 12.

Singapore's weekly COVID-19 infection growth rate dropped to 1.34 on Tuesday, down from 1.45 on Monday and 1.62 last Tuesday.

The rate refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before, where a figure of more than one means that the number of new weekly cases is increasing.

A total of 683 patients have been hospitalised, including 77 patients who require oxygen supplementation and 16 who are in the intensive care unit.

With the rise in community cases, COVID-19 safe management measures at all hospital wards and residential care homes will be tightened for a four-week period to protect healthcare capacity and the vulnerable population, said MOH in a press statement.

The measures will be in effect from Thursday to 3 August. Over the period, patients in hospitals are allowed two pre-designated visitors each for the duration of their admission, and only one visitor may be allowed at the bedside at any one time.

Critically ill patients will be allowed up to five pre-designated visitors, and two visitors may be allowed at the bedside at any one point in time, said MOH.

The visit duration will be limited to 30 minutes. In exceptional situations, such as for critically ill patients, paediatric patients, and birthing or post-partum mothers, visitors may be allowed to stay beyond 30 minutes on a case-by-case basis at the hospitals’ discretion, the MOH said.

Hospitals can impose stricter visitor limits or testing requirements for visitors of vulnerable or unvaccinated patients, it added.

Meanwhile, all home residents will be allowed up to four pre-designated visitors each, and only one may visit at any one time with the visit duration limited to 30 minutes.

All visitors are to ensure that they are well and are strongly encouraged to test themselves with an antigen rapid test (ART) on the day of the visit to the hospital or home.

"We also seek the understanding of visitors that visits may have to be suspended if a home is managing active COVID-19 cases. Next-of-kin of residents may approach the home for further details," said MOH.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament on Tuesday that there are indications that the current COVID-19 wave – driven by Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants – is near or at its peak.

The wave will not be as severe as the Omicron wave earlier this year as many people have gained stronger immunity against the novel coronavirus either through booster vaccine shots or recovery from infections, which will significantly impede the transmission of the virus, he added.

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