MOH to stop giving details of Covid-19 community cases

MOH's daily Covid-19 update will now detail progress made on the nationwide vaccination scheme, in addition to daily case numbers.
MOH's daily Covid-19 update will now detail progress made on the nationwide vaccination scheme, in addition to daily case numbers.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) will no longer disclose details of each new Covid-19 case detected in the community as the country moves towards a new phase of battling the pandemic, it said in a statement on Tuesday (June 29).

Information on individuals' ages and occupations, as well as the places they visited and the dates on which they tested positive, will not be provided.

Instead, the ministry's daily virus update will now detail the progress made in the nationwide vaccination scheme, in addition to daily case numbers.

It will also give a breakdown of the number of people who have developed a severe form of the disease, and their vaccination status.

This decision was made by the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic, MOH said, adding that there will now be "a strong focus on preventing the virus from spreading, vaccinating our population and starting the process to transit to a new normal" as the country moves into a new phase of its fight against Covid-19.

"Besides daily numbers, we will include information on the key trends of the local situation, clusters we are monitoring, progress of vaccination and the number of people who suffered a severe form of the disease," it said.

About 3.28 million people in Singapore have received at least one dose of the vaccine since Dec 30 last year, with about 5.38 million doses administered so far.

This means that 57.5 per cent of Singapore's population has been partially vaccinated, while 36.8 per cent - or about 2.1 million people - have had the full two-dose regimen.

As at noon on Tuesday, 49,445 more people had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while another 5,298 were given their second dose under the national vaccination programme.

In Tuesday's statement, MOH noted that there is continuing evidence that vaccination helps to prevent serious disease in those who have been infected.

Over the last 28 days, a total of 23 local cases required oxygen, were admitted to the intensive care unit, or died. Of this group, 20 were unvaccinated, while two were partially vaccinated.

The remaining patient was fully vaccinated but had already been ill before contracting the disease, MOH said.

A total of 129 coronavirus patients were hospitalised as at Tuesday. Most of them were well and under observation.

Three were in critical condition in the intensive care unit. All three are over 60 years old and unvaccinated.

Read the full MOH press release here.

How some other countries report virus figures 

Japan

Local municipalities release Covid-19 data, mostly at the prefecture level, but sometimes cities will issue their own figures.

The notices are put up on official prefecture or municipal websites and usually include numbers on daily infections and deaths, and how the infections occurred.

The domestic media will then tabulate the figures to come up with the overall number of cases and deaths for each day. 

Thailand

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reports daily cases, deaths and people discharged from hospitals through televised press briefings that are also streamed on social media. 

Domestic and imported case numbers, as well as those in the community and prisons, new clusters and vaccination rates are also given. CCSA also provides a breakdown of domestic infection numbers in all provinces, and lists the top 10 provinces with highest infection numbers. 

Previously, the information came from various sources such as the Public Health Ministry, the provincial authorities and the Prime Minister’s Office, but this has been streamlined with CCSA providing the updates. 

Malaysia

The Ministry of Health gives a breakdown of daily new cases, deaths and clusters, according to states. It will also disclose any links between cases, how patients were infected and if they involve variants of concern. 

The information is contained in daily press statements and postings on the ministry’s social media sites. The ministry also provides a weekly report, which is normally released on Mondays.

The method of reporting has evolved from daily press briefings by the health director-general to just statements being issued, unless there are important announcements or huge spikes in cases. 

Australia

The Department of Health provides the numbers of local and imported cases, and cases under investigation in the last 24 hours on its website and social media platforms.

It gives the total number of active and hospitalised cases, and tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

It also provides an overall number of cases, deaths and tests conducted since the start of the pandemic. In addition, it gives daily data on the status of Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, which includes a detailed infographic and breakdown of vaccine doses administered across Australia.

South Korea 

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and the Health Ministry release data on new and total confirmed cases, deaths, quarantine numbers and total tests performed. They also report new and total cases found in various major cities and provinces, as well as daily and total vaccination rates.

All these are further broken down into gender and age groups, types of vaccines administered, details about major clusters, infection routes and an analysis of trends. 

The information is issued in daily press statements from as early as 9am, while health officials conduct daily briefings at 11am and 2pm, which are shown live on TV. 

The information is also posted on websites managed by various health district offices and alerts are also sent directly to mobile phones. 

Indonesia

The Covid-19 mitigation task force releases new and total numbers of confirmed and recovered cases, and fatalities at national and provincial levels. 

It also reports new and total numbers of samples tested, the positivity rate, the number of people tested, the spread of overall active cases, daily and total vaccination figures, and the number of those getting their first and second jabs. 

The information is broadcast to journalists’ WhatsApp groups as well as posted on social media and the websites of regional governments and the task force.