SINGAPORE - The Republic will be stepping down its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) framework from orange to yellow on April 26, given the improving local Covid-19 situation.
Dorscon yellow generally means that, on the whole, life can go on as normal.
Singapore had stepped up its disease outbreak response to orange on Feb 7, 2020.
Dorscon is part of Singapore's pandemic preparedness plan that describes the current situation and what has to be done.
The stepping-down of the Dorscon level from orange to yellow is due to the improving local Covid-19 situation, where the number of daily cases is falling and stabilising; the high levels of vaccination; and the disease being typically mild, except in the unvaccinated and vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
This was announced on Friday (April 22) in a virtual multi-ministry task force press conference.
In the Dorscon colour coding system, green means that there are just minor problems.
Yellow - the status from April 26 - refers either to a mild infection, or a severe infection that is not spreading here, but of which the community needs to be careful.
Orange means that the disease is severe with transmission, but is generally contained, and has moderate to high public health impact.
When asked how useful the Dorscon level has been, given that Singapore had gone through a whole range of restrictions, including those in the red level despite never being at Dorscon red, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said: "It may not be apparent to the members of the public, but Dorscon levels are very important from the point of view of the preparedness of the government agencies, including the healthcare institutions.
"When we raise the alert status. some of the actions have to be taken, including putting aside beds to be ready for Covid-19 cases and raising the alert level of the agencies... These actions are not sustainable for over a long period of time."
And in order for some of these agencies to run their normal operations on a more sustainable basis, the Dorscon level needs to be stepped down, so that it is more sustainable, he added said.
In an update on the local situation, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its release that daily case numbers and Covid-19 hospitalisations had declined steadily in the past week.
The seven-day moving average of daily local case numbers has fallen from around 18,300 at its peak to under 3,100 in the past week.
More importantly, the number of hospitalisations has fallen from 1,726 at its peak to 266. The number of Covid-19-related intensive care unit (ICU) patients is now in single digits.
The incidence of severe illness has also remained low. In the past 28 days, 0.03 per cent and 0.2 per cent of local cases required ICU care and oxygen supplementation respectively.