The Ministry of Health (MOH) declared on Thursday that the implementation date for changes to existing Covid-19 safe management measures would be revised, with a new date to be announced shortly. The reason is the current surge in daily cases, and the extensive work involved in going through the different rules in different settings. Thus, the current rules will remain in place in the meantime, MOH added. While some would be disappointed by the postponement, it is important to keep the larger picture in mind. Singapore is facing a surge in Omicron cases, with more than 20,000 daily cases reported in recent days. These are substantial numbers.
While it is true that the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant is ameliorated by the fact that it is less lethal than the Delta variant, the high figures have caused hospitals and healthcare workers to struggle to cope with a flood of Covid-19 patients seeking treatment in the accident and emergency departments, although there are many with mild or no symptoms who do not require immediate medical attention. Clearly, Singapore cannot take the risk of its healthcare facilities being overwhelmed, thus putting at risk both severe Covid-19 cases and also those sick from other serious ailments.