Singapore increasing virus managing facilities in preparation of Omicron surge

The facilities will be able to accommodate up to 11,000 people in total
Last Updated : 25 December 2021, 02:01 IST
Last Updated : 25 December 2021, 02:01 IST

Follow Us :


Singapore is planning to nearly double the number of designated facilities for close contacts of Covid-19 patients in preparation for a possible surge in cases due to the Omicron variant, having confirmed on Friday 82 new cases of the fast spreading virus.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is looking to convert additional 12 designated facilities over the next month, if required, reported The Straits Times.

As of Wednesday, there were 14 active designated facilities.

These facilities will be able to accommodate up to 11,000 people in total, according to the Singapore daily.

The MOH said 65 of Friday's new Omicron cases were imported or those arriving here, and 17 were local infections.

From Friday, Covid-19 cases that are positive for the S-gene target failure (SGTF) will be categorised as Omicron cases, without additional whole genome sequencing (WGS), the MOH said.

"Based on our local experience, if a person tests positive for SGTF, it is very likely that it is an Omicron variant," the Channel News Asia quoted the MOH as saying.

The ministry has contingency plans in place to meet various scenarios.

Singapore has taken several steps to guard against the highly transmissible Omicron variant, including tightening its border measures, extending its vaccination and booster programme to more age groups, and ramping up healthcare capacity as necessary.

The ministry reported 265 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, of which 79 were imported.

No fatalities were reported for the first time since September 19, with the country's death toll from coronavirus complications being 820.

As of Friday, Singapore has recorded 277,307 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SIA) crew manning flights from the United Kingdom are now required to wear protective gowns, on top of current precautions such as donning masks and goggles.

The new precaution was introduced recently following reports of several Omicron cases among travellers from Britain, according to The Straits Times report.

Meal service for business class passengers for UK flights will also be scaled back to a one-tray service to limit contact between passengers and cabin crew.

The UK is among the countries with which Singapore has started vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) to allow eligible travellers to enter Singapore without having to quarantine.

It is one of the most popular markets among the 24 countries for which Singapore has started VTLs.

But the Covid-19 situation there has been rapidly worsening. The UK reported a record 119,789 new cases on Thursday, with 16,817 new Omicron infections, according to media reports.

The MOH had also announced the suspension of all VTL ticket sales for entry into Singapore between December 23 and January 20 as it seeks to limit the number of imported Covid-19 cases.

Watch latest videos by DH here:

Published 25 December 2021, 01:48 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us