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Singapore advises unvaccinated people to stay home as cases rise

/ 10:51 AM July 19, 2021
Singapore

People wearing face masks cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 14, 2021. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s health ministry
on Sunday “strongly” advised unvaccinated individuals,
especially the elderly, to stay home as much as possible over
the next few weeks, citing heightened concerns about the risk of
community spread of COVID-19.

The country reported 88 new locally-transmitted coronavirus
cases on Sunday, the highest daily toll since August last year,
driven by growing clusters of infections linked to karaoke bars
and a fishery port.

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Though Singapore’s daily cases are only a fraction of the
number being reported among its Southeast Asian neighbors, the
jump in infections is a setback for the Asian business hub,
which has successfully contained its earlier outbreaks. On July
10, it had reported no new cases.

As a precaution, authorities on Sunday shut fresh fish and
seafood stalls in markets across the city-state as it tested
fishmongers for COVID-19.

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“We are concerned that there remain cryptic transmission
chains which might continue to spread within our community. The
porous nature of wet markets makes contact tracing and isolation
less straightforward,” the health ministry said in a statement
late on Sunday.

About 73% of Singapore’s 5.7 million population has received
the first dose of a COVID-10 vaccine, but the government is
pushing to get more of the elderly vaccinated, as those above 70
years of age have the lowest takeup rates at about 71%.

The rising cases prompted the city-state to tighten some
restrictions on social gatherings from Monday just a week after
easing them. However, it has more lenient rules for those who
have been vaccinated.

As Singapore’s vaccination rates rise and it prepares to
live with the virus, the government has said it will look beyond
case numbers at severity of illnesses to decide on further virus
measures.

Of the 243 people with COVID-19 currently in hospital, five
had serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation, and one
was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

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TAGS: COVID-19 Vaccines, Delta variant, Health, Singapore
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