People will walk on a pedestrian crossing along Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping district on September 7, 2021.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
Singapore — Singapore officials have stepped up Covid’s response as domestic infectious diseases hit record highs, but said two health professionals were less concerned about CNBC.
The national health system and workers are strained by the increasing number of cases, and the infection needs to be delayed to prevent more infections in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the Ministry of Health said Friday. Said that severe measures were announced again.
For the next four weeks, we will reduce the number of people in the social gathering group from five to two and make telecommuting the default.
Still, medical experts told CNBC that the latest wave of viruses may not be a bad thing, as Singapore’s population is highly vaccinated.
According to Teo Yik-Ying, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, many Covid-19 patients avoid serious illness and because their antibodies fight the virus against future infections. It is said that further protection will be obtained.
About 82% of Singapore’s population is vaccinated twice with the Covid vaccine. Health officials on Sunday said 98% of infected individuals were asymptomatic or mild in the last 28 days.
The number of cases may remain high for months, but the “majority” is well protected by the vaccine and will not become a serious illness, Theo said.
“For these people, infections do not have short-term or long-term effects on their health, but they can further provoke a natural immune response that reduces the likelihood of subsequent infections,” he said. I mentioned in the email.
Potential benefits of natural infections
Ooi Eng Eong, a professor of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Program at Duke-NUS Medical College, said it was “not necessarily a bad thing” to allow the virus to spread slowly throughout the population.
The two major vaccines used in Singapore are being developed by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, both using messenger RNA technology.
The mRNA vaccine tells the body to produce the so-called peplomer found on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19. It’s harmless, but it triggers the immune system to develop antibodies, allowing the body to fight the infection when exposed to the actual virus.
“In the event of a natural infection, the immune system will be able to recognize most of the virus,” Oi said, adding that it could make people more resilient to future mutations.
He said Singapore can enjoy the benefits of natural infections experienced in some parts of Europe and North America, but in reverse order.
“Instead of vaccination following infection, I’m going to vaccinate after vaccination. I think this is even better. [infections] It will be almost calm. “
“Them [countries] The high incidence of illness last year paid the price of increased mortality, “he told CNBC.
More new variants?
When asked if widespread infection with Covid could lead to the emergence of new variants, Oi admitted that it was difficult to predict what would happen.
However, he pointed out that future variants must compete with the globally predominant strain, the “very contagious” Delta variant.
“It’s very difficult to beat Delta,” he said.
There was also concern about a new variant of interest, mu, but he said he couldn’t take off because the Delta was too strong.
“That said, it’s wise to be prepared that something better than Delta may eventually emerge, or that a new variant may escape the immunity produced by vaccination. I think, “said Mr. Oi.
Local Covid situation
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health, the number of serious Covid cases remains within expectations.
As of Sunday, there were 172 cases requiring oxygen supplementation and 30 in the intensive care unit (ICU). According to the government, the ICU capacity can be increased up to 1,600 beds as needed.
The two professors who spoke with CNBC disagreed on whether new restrictions were needed.
According to Mr. Oi, the current wave of viruses is “Within” Singapore’s capabilities. He added that the new restrictions are “unnecessary” and will delay efforts to live with the illness.
Theo agreed that the situation had not deteriorated, but said that tightening measures were needed to provide Singapore with a “breathing space” to coordinate operational and hospitalization protocols.
According to Theo, hospital beds are full not because many people need acute care, but because of the country’s “very cautious” approach.
He says the long-term plan for Covid is a combination of vaccination and natural infections to provide protection without overwhelming the hospital, and mortality is not expected to increase, but absolute numbers can be expected to increase. Added.
As of Sunday, Singapore reported 87,892 Covid cases and 78 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
— CNBC’s Cory Stieg and Berkeley Lovelace Jr. Contributed to this report.
There are record Covid cases in Singapore.That may not be a bad thing
Source link There are record Covid cases in Singapore.That may not be a bad thing