In a press release on Thursday, Singapore’s health ministry said the current measures would be extended until Nov. 21 to contain the number of cases, which rose by more than 3,800 on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, given the continued pressure on our health care system, more time is needed to stabilize the situation,” the ministry said in its statement, adding that hospitals are bracing for “an ongoing, heavy patient load”.
“(The ministry) is doing what we can to support and strengthen the hospitals,” the statement said.
Lawrence Wong, co-chair of Singapore’s Covid-19 task force, said on Wednesday that medical staff were “stretched and fatigued”.
“In the current situation, we run a significant risk of the health care system being overwhelmed,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health, by October 19, 84% of Singapore’s population had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 85% had received at least one dose.
The new curbs, known as the “stabilization phase,” went into effect on September 27 and were originally set to end on October 24. Under these measures, social gatherings are limited to a maximum of two and employees are encouraged to stay at home.
The extended restrictions will be reviewed after two weeks, the health ministry said, and will be adjusted based on the situation in the Covid-19 community.
In the past 28 days, 98.7% of locally infected cases were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and only 0.1% had to go to the intensive care unit (ICU), the press release said.
Of the 3,862 new coronavirus infections identified on Wednesday, 630 were linked to dormitories for migrant workers, the ministry said. The remaining cases were almost entirely among the local community.
Singapore’s total death toll from the pandemic now stands at 264, the ministry said.
The ministry also warned that there were still a high number of infections among unvaccinated citizens over the age of 60.
“Over the past 5 days, the number of infections among this group has averaged 127 per day,” the ministry said, while seniors over 60 accounted for two-thirds of the total number of patients in the ICU.