Don't assume getting Covid-19 is safe when unvaccinated, more young people being infected: Kenneth Mak

Singapore must not be complacent and assume that all young people who get infected will have good outcomes, warned Prof Kenneth Mak.
Singapore must not be complacent and assume that all young people who get infected will have good outcomes, warned Prof Kenneth Mak.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Do not play with your life and assume that getting infected is safe for you - that is director of medical services Kenneth Mak's advice to those who are not vaccinated.

Speaking during a press conference on Saturday (Nov 20), he stressed that everyone should get Covid-19 vaccinations and booster jabs, regardless of age, as vaccinations help to reduce the overall rates of infection.

Associate Professor Mak noted that while the share of cases in the population aged 50 and above has trended downwards, the proportion of younger people being infected has increased, particularly in the 20 to 30 age group.

He pointed out that on Friday, those between the ages of 20 and 30 years old made up 15.6 per cent of cases, compared with 14.2 per cent four weeks earlier.

"These young people are part of the community who are socially active, who continue to leave home on a regular basis, whether for work or for other reasons, and we may see more infections arising in this group as we lighten our safe management measures regime in the community," Prof Mak said.

He acknowledged that being of relatively young age and in good health does provide some risk reduction for severe Covid-19 infection, but said Singapore must not be complacent and assume that all young people who get infected will have good outcomes.

"We have seen some young people with severe infection and requiring ICU (intensive care unit) care," he cautioned.

While there are some who hold the view that because they are young or do not have any high risk factors, they are prepared to take the chance of getting infected and hold out against vaccination, Prof Mak stressed that this is not a safe approach to take.

"There have been deaths among cases who are less than 60 years of age. And, while many of (those who have died) have concurrent medical conditions, I see some unvaccinated cases in our ICUs today who do not have a history of any other medical condition, and they remain critically ill.

"I'm not assured that they will invariably make a good recovery. The risk of death still exists for some of them," Prof Mak said.

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