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Singapore orders citizens to wear masks amid COVID-19 surge, cases exceed 25,900

Singapore faces a resurgence of COVID-19 with 25,900 cases by May 11, prompting strict measures like mask mandates and booster dose requirements. Concerns mount over variants like Omicron. Health Minister warns of a peak in 2-4 weeks. Hospitalizations rise, especially among the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Vaccine hesitancy persists despite government assurances.

Singapore orders citizens to wear masks amid COVID-19 surge, cases exceed 25,900 vkp
First Published May 19, 2024, 10:50 AM IST

Singapore is grappling with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, reporting a staggering 25,900 infections as of May 11. The surge has prompted the government to implement strict measures, including mandatory mask-wearing and booster dose requirements, in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Authorities have sounded the alarm as new variants, including the Omicron strain, fuel the surge not only in Singapore but also in countries worldwide. Maharashtra, India, for instance, has reported 91 cases of the Omicron variant, contributing to the global uptick in infections.

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The recent spike in Singapore has seen a significant rise within just one week, prompting Health Minister Aung Ye to warn of an impending peak in cases within the next 2 to 4 weeks. Experts fear that the number of cases could double by mid-June if stringent measures are not adhered to.

Hospitalizations have also surged, with 250 individuals currently admitted, compared to 181 earlier in the month. While only three patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU), the strain on healthcare facilities remains a concern.

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Elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions are urged to exercise extra caution, while special attention is advised for children. The government has emphasized the importance of vaccination, particularly for those who have not received a booster dose within the last 12 months.

However, vaccine hesitancy has emerged as a challenge, exacerbated by reports of side effects. Despite assurances from health authorities, some individuals remain reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, adding to the complexity of managing the current wave.

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