Singapore: Singapore is experiencing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, as the JN.1 variant, a sublineage of BA.2.86, spreads rapidly among the population. The country’s Health Ministry stated on Friday, urging people to wear masks in crowded places and to stay home if they have any symptoms of respiratory infection.
According to the ministry, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 75 percent from December 3 to 9, reaching 56,043 from 32,035 in the previous week. The average daily number of hospitalizations also increased from 225 to 350, while the average daily cases in the intensive care unit (ICU) rose from four to nine. The ministry warned that the JN.1 variant is more transmissible and may cause more severe illness than the original strain.
The ministry appealed to the public to discharge their personal and social responsibilities and to avoid unnecessary social gatherings and travel. It also advised people who are traveling to wear masks at airports, to purchase travel insurance, and to refrain from visiting poorly ventilated places. The ministry said that it is closely monitoring the situation and will implement further measures if needed.
The ministry also reminded the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as vaccination is the best way to protect oneself and others from Covid-19. As of December 9, about 90 percent of the eligible population in Singapore has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while about 40 percent has received a booster dose. The ministry said that it is working to increase vaccination coverage and to provide booster doses to more groups of people.