Looks like this weekend’s tighter measures need a while more to contain the rampaging coronavirus.
As of 12pm today (10 May), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed 19 new cases of COVID-19 infection.
Three are community cases and the remaining 16 are imported. Out of these three community cases, two are linked to the Changi Airport cluster.
This brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 61,378.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 50 cases in the week before to 39 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from 10 cases in the week before to 13 cases in the past week.
4 of the 10 Community COVID-19 Cases Reported on 9 May Most Likely Have the Indian Variant
Further tests have revealed that four of these ten cases have tested “preliminarily positive” for the B1617 variant of the coronavirus—a variant that first emerged in India.
They comprise a Grab private hire driver, a property risk assessment personnel, a cleaner, and an auxiliary police officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3.
At the moment, 29 community cases in Singapore have been confirmed to be carrying COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs) that emerged in other countries.
Since they are more infectious, larger clusters are forming.
Other variants include the B11281 strain that was first detected in Brazil, the B1351 variant that emerged in South Africa, and two variants—B117 and B1525—first detected in the United Kingdom.
On the bright side, however, we may not have to worry all that much.
Experts Say S’pore’s 2 mRNA Vaccines Will Sufficiently Protect Against All COVID-19 Variants
Even with news of fully-vaccinated individuals still contracting COVID-19, experts still believe that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the two used by Singapore, are still sufficiently effective to protect against different variants of the coronavirus.
Such variants comprise variants of concern (VOCs)—strains that can deal a great amount of harm—and variants of interest (VOIs)—strains that could potentially become VOCs. Three VOCs and two VOIs have been identified in Singapore’s community cases.
Most experts are confident in the efficacy of the vaccines, with Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School commenting that there is “no significant loss in efficacy”.
While some experts cautioned that there is yet insufficient data to fully verify that claim, others believe that even the pessimistic scenario would only be a “slight reduction in efficacy” to the vaccines’ already stellar figures.
Both vaccines have been concluded to provide 95% protection against instances of severe illness, a figure that deserves both hope and caution because while effective, they still cannot fully prevent infection.
It is therefore important, according to Professor Dale Fisher of the National University Hospital (NUH), that we “simply regard [all the variants] as a threat”, and implement measures accordingly.
395 Active Cases
There are currently 133 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 2 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
262 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
31 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
Feature Image: kandl stock / Shutterstock.com (Image for illustration purpose only)