S’pore braces itself for Omicron wave: More ICU beds, extra locations open to solely these vaccinated, Health News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Singapore is bracing itself for an Omicron wave by boosting hospital and testing capacities, in order that the nation can experience the following Covid-19 surge at the same time as reopening plans proceed.

While the nation has not detected any group transmission of the Omicron variant but, it’s only a matter of time earlier than this occurs, stated Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong at a press convention on Tuesday (Dec 14).

“This may then lead to another surge in cases because of the highly infectious nature of the Omicron virus. We must therefore prepare ourselves for such a scenario.”

Given the elevated transmissibility of the brand new variant, vaccination-differentiated measures shall be expanded to extra locations from Feb 1.

At the identical time, extra individuals will have the ability to return to their workplaces, provided that 97 per cent of Singapore’s workforce is now totally vaccinated.

From Jan 1, as much as 50 per cent of these in a position to earn a living from home shall be allowed again within the workplace.

However, the Government is contemplating eradicating a concession that enables unvaccinated individuals to return to the office in the event that they take a look at adverse for Covid-19, stated Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong cautioned that the extremely transmissible Omicron variant may lead to a doubtlessly greater wave of Covid-19 circumstances than the one attributable to the Delta variant.

Singapore will thus maintain its present measures in place for now, he stated, including that the nation’s general public well being posture is geared in direction of getting ready for Omicron.

To gear up for the following surge, Singapore is planning to extend its intensive care unit (ICU) capability to 500 beds, stated director of medical providers Kenneth Mak. It is learning whether or not infrastructure upgrading must be completed in public hospitals to assist this, he added.

ICU mattress capability stood at round 280 beds in late October, on the peak of Singapore’s Delta wave, with hospitals on standby to extend this to 350 beds if mandatory.

The multi-ministry process pressure dealing with Covid-19 set out the way it may even press on with its booster vaccination programme, ramp up healthcare capability and promote common testing.

There have been 16 Omicron circumstances detected in Singapore so far, comprising 14 imported circumstances and two native circumstances who’re airport passenger service workers.

The variant has been discovered in additional than 60 international locations worldwide.

The enlargement of vaccination-differentiated measures signifies that individuals must be vaccinated to enter all kinds of settings.

These embrace all indoor sports activities services – even these which might be privately owned – institutes of upper studying and leisure visitors in resorts, hostels and serviced residences.

All occasions – even these with fewer than 50 attendees – may even be topic to those necessities. These embrace funeral memorial providers and work-related occasions.

But college students who’re finishing full-time Nitec, Higher Nitec, diploma or diploma programmes shall be exempted from vaccination-differentiated measures when getting into their respective instructional establishments.

Funerals, wakes and funeral processions may even proceed to be capped at 30 individuals at anybody time, and won’t be topic to those measures.

Read subsequent – Singapore prepares for Omicron wave: What you’ll want to find out about new Covid-19 measures

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