SINGAPORE - The number of new Covid-19 cases reported in Singapore surged on Thursday (May 5) to 4,733, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in an update on its website.
This was higher than the 1,638 cases reported on Wednesday.
Associate Professor Alex Cook, the vice-dean of research at the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said: "I wouldn't read too much into the daily figure or even the week-on-week growth rate because both will be affected by the long weekend."
He explained: "In normal weeks, there is a spike in the case count on Tuesdays because enough people put off going to see the doctor at the weekend until Monday, and many of them get included in the Tuesday count.
"A similar thing is quite probable due to the long weekend, which would have led to more consultations on Wednesday and thus a higher count on Thursday."
There were 1,570 cases on Tuesday, when case numbers usually tend to be higher than the rest of the week as they reflect the spike in infections after the weekend, when more people are out in various social settings.
This comes as Singapore eased most of its Covid-19 rules on April 26, including the removal of limits to group sizes and workplace capacities. Individuals also do not have to keep to a group of 10 people for mask-off activities.
But Prof Cook noted that it is worth keeping tabs on the numbers over the next few weeks to see the effect of the recent move to Dorscon yellow.
Singapore also lowered its disease outbreak response system condition (Dorscon) alert level from orange to yellow on April 26.
There were 231 hospitalised Covid-19 cases on Thursday, with six patients in intensive care and 18 requiring oxygen support.
Four people died of Covid-19, MOH said.
There were 4,475 new locally transmitted cases.
Of the new local cases, 338 were detected through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Another 4,137 cases were detected through antigen rapid tests (ART), which means the patients displayed no symptoms or their symptoms were mild.
There were 258 new imported cases, with 23 detected through PCR tests and 235 through ART.
The weekly Covid-19 infection growth rate stood at 0.82, up from 0.7 the day before.
The rate refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over those of the week before. A rate of more than 1 shows that the number of new weekly Covid-19 cases is increasing.
With the latest update on Thursday, Singapore has recorded a total of 1,208,917 Covid-19 cases, with 1,344 deaths.
- Additional reporting by Clara Chong