There Were Over 8,800 People in S’pore Who Were Infected With COVID-19 Twice Since Last Nov


If you think you’re completely immune after contracting COVID-19 once, think again.

According to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, there were 8,845 cases of COVID-19 reinfection in Singapore from the start of November 2021 to 25 March this year.

On Tuesday (5 April), Mr Ong mentioned in a written response to questions from Workers’ Party MP He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC) that the reinfection cases were mostly mild.

Only one individual needed to be warded in the intensive care unit (ICU), and two deaths from reinfection were reported.

He also added that a large majority of the patients from the reinfection cases were aged 60 and under.

How Often Hospitals Had to Activate Additional Wards

Apart from the reinfection cases, Ms He also asked about the resources in hospitals, in particular, how many days did hospitals had to activate additional wards for COVID-19 patients over the last three months.

Mr Ong responded by saying that in public hospitals, the number of isolation beds increased from 460 during pre-pandemic times to around 960 to 1,680 over the past three months.

He also emphasised that emergency responses are the most important during the COVID-19 pandemic, hence requiring hospitals to increase the number of wards that they usually operate at “very regularly”.

How Often Did Hospitals Have to Turn Patients Away

Moving on, Ms He also asked for clarification regarding how many days over the last three months did emergency departments of our restructured hospitals have to close or turn patients away after hitting their maximum capacity.

She also asked about the specific hospitals and departments that were affected the most by this issue, as well as how many days did these hospitals take over two, four and six hours to triage patients.

In response to her questions, Mr Ong mentioned that ICU wards in Singapore have not been faced with this issue for the past three months due to the high vaccination rates in Singapore.

However, he also highlighted that emergency departments in hospitals have still remained “busy” (as they always are).

With regards to which hospitals were affected the most, it was also mentioned that the Ministry of Health (MOH) allowed Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances to diverge from their initial routes to hospitals on seven separate occasions.

These occasions involved Changi General Hospital, Sengkang General Hospital as well as Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and Mr Ong confirmed that all the involved patients were not critically ill.

“This helped hospitals manage their capacity at the emergency departments, so that patients with critical conditions can be attended to quickly,” Mr Ong explained.

He also added that these diversions took two to six hours each.


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Touching on the amount of time that patients had to wait at emergency departments, Mr Ong also clarified that most patients were attended to within 30 minutes of registration in order to assess the patient’s priority level for emergency treatment.

“Their waiting times for clinical consult vary, depending on the clinical condition of the patient. Critically ill patients are seen almost immediately,” he concluded.

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