The Big Story: Omicron wave has peaked and is subsiding, says Ong Ye Kung

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The current Omicron wave in Singapore has peaked and the number of infections is now declining.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Wednesday (March 9): "There are now good indications that the Omicron transmission wave has peaked and is starting to subside.

"With that, I hope healthcare workers will finally have a well-deserved and lasting respite."

Meanwhile, family doctors will play a key role as the nation shifts away from the traditional focus on illness-based hospital care to a more sustainable way of patient-centred preventive care that will focus on nipping diseases in the bud and keeping people healthy and out of hospital as much as possible.

Describing this as a "major healthcare reform initiative" called the Healthier SG strategy, Mr Ong said it is important to move now.

Senior health correspondent Joyce Teo shares more about the initiative.

Separately, the Interagency Taskforce on Mental Health and Well-being will consider setting up a national mental well-being office, Senior Minister of State for Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, said on Wednesday.

He added that the inter-agency task force had reviewed the current mental health landscape and found four areas that need to be focused on.

Separately, the aviation sector will get a fresh injection of $500 million to further support recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said during his ministry's budget debate on Wednesday that the OneAviation Resilience Package will enable the sector to increase core capabilities and capacity to manage increased traveller volumes.

In other headlines, another 11 Thomson-East Coast Line MRT stations will begin operating in the second half of this year, running from Stevens through Orchard and Outram Park to Gardens by the Bay.

The new stations will give commuters access to areas such as Great World, Maxwell and Shenton Way.

Looking overseas, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said humanitarian corridors will operate on Wednesday in several areas, including the strategic southern port city of Mariupol.

She said the Ukrainian armed forces have agreed to stop firing in areas with these corridors between 9am and 9pm local time (3pm Wednesday to 3am Thursday Singapore time).

Ms Vereshchuk also urged Russian forces not to shoot in these areas during this period.

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