SINGAPORE – A return to tightened measures with the emergence of the Jurong Fishery Port cluster last month bought Singapore time for vaccination rates to be ramped up.
The move stopped more people from dying, said Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (Aug 19).
“In hindsight, it was a correct decision to throttle back to phase two (heightened alert… fortunately we did that, if not, there will have been many more deaths,” added Mr Ong.
There were eight deaths reported from July 29 to Aug 18, seven of whom were unvaccinated seniors, the minister noted.
“But the positive news now is that admissions to the ICU is on a downward trend as cases are coming down and more people have been getting vaccinated,” he said at the press conference held by the multi-ministry task force on the pandemic.
The Jurong Fishery Port cluster, which also involved markets and hawker centres here, was responsible for more than 1,100 Covid-19 cases, many of whom were unvaccinated seniors.
Mr Ong noted that over the past 21 days, Singapore saw a total of 19 admissions to ICUs.
There were nine in the first week, seven in the second week, and three admissions in the past week.
“It is coming down steadily, and let’s hope we can keep that to a minimum as more people get vaccinated,” said Mr Ong.
As at Aug 17, 77 per cent of the population have completed their entire vaccine regimen, while 82 per cent have received at least one dose, he added.
Discounting those who are ineligible for vaccination such as children under 12, Mr Ong said that 90 per cent of the population would be fully vaccinated.
He added that Singapore has made significant progress in the vaccination rate among seniors, with 89 per cent of those aged 60 and above on track to receive both doses by early September.
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