Before we get into the article proper, here’s some context:
- United States: 4,494,601 Covid-19 cases / 152,055 deaths [3.38% fatality rate]
- India: 1,634,746 Covid-19 cases / 35,718 deaths [2.18% fatality rate]
- Philippines: 85,486 Covid-19 cases / 1,962 deaths [2.29% fatality rate]
- Japan: 35,144 Covid-19 cases / 1,007 deaths [2.87% fatality rate]
- Singapore: 51,809 Covid-19 cases / 27 deaths [0.05% fatality rate]
If you notice, Singapore has an incredibly low fatality rate for Covid-19 compared to other countries.
And an expert thinks it’s because of Singapore’s “good strategy” & good healthcare system.
Numbers Are “Frightening” But Look Beyond The Numbers
Previously, my handsome-est colleague GY wrote a piece about looking beyond the numbers.
Now, it’s time for you to do it again.
While the number of Covid-19 cases has increased to beyond the 50,000th mark, only 128 of them (approximately 0.3%) fell so ill they had to be admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU).
The last patient in the ICU was discharged on 14 Jul 2020 and there were no new patients admitted for the last two weeks of July.
Out of those who were discharged from the ICU, 98 of them have fully recovered.
Another 8 are recovering in the general ward while 18 have died.
And as you can see from the beginning of the article, Singapore has, not just the lowest fatality rate, but also the lowest admittance to the ICU rate for Covid-19.
Good Healthcare System & Strategy Against Covid-19
Dr Phua Kai Hong, an adjunct senior research fellow with the Institute of Policy Studies at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy said this result proves that Singapore has a good healthcare system.
In terms of healthcare, this proved that Singapore has:
- well-trained doctors and ICU specialists who are prepared to treat critically-ill patients
- well-stocked and equipped ICUs
This also proves that Singapore has a “good strategy” against Covid-19 as it helped to keep numbers down, giving healthcare systems here a “chance to breathe”.
Previously, the multiagency task force explained to Singaporeans about “flattening the curve” and implemented various measures, including an extended Circuit Breaker and enforcing strict Covid-19 rules.
Associate Professor Jeremy Lim, director of the Global Health Programme at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore said Singapore’s Covid-19 strategy was the reason why Singapore’s healthcare system was not overwhelmed like their counterparts in Wuhan (China) and Lombardy (Italy).
He added that the “good fortune” was also because of Singapore investing in the healthcare system for decades and sending people to train in the best centres globally.
This shows the importance of investing in not just the system but the people, he said.
And the final factor is luck.
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According to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, the vast majority of Covid-19 cases here in Singapore over the past few months are young and able to recover on their own, a factor which has kept the need for hospital care or critical care low.
But then again, you can attribute this to Singapore’s Covid-19 strategy too since they closed off the elderly homes and cancelled activities for the elderly when news came out that the elderly are more vulnerable to the virus.
Whichever it is, aren’t you glad that Minister Lawrence Wong and Gan Kim Yong were not voted out during GE2020, and the task force will still comprise the same people so we can still see Lawrence Wong’s short hair?
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