1. Singapore sees a worrying surge in COVID-19 infections, with cases nearly doubling by May 11.
2. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung advises the public to resume wearing masks as a precaution.
3. Government closely monitors the situation amid rising hospitalizations and prepares for potential peaks in the coming weeks.

Singapore, May 19: The Singaporean government is closely monitoring a concerning surge in COVID-19 infections, with the estimated weekly case count nearly doubling in the week ending May 11.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has issued a recommendation for the public to resume wearing masks as a precautionary measure.

Singapore‘s Ministry of Health reported a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, with numbers jumping from 13,700 in the previous week to 25,900 in the week of May 5 to 11.

Concurrently, average daily COVID-19 hospitalizations surged from 181 to around 250 during the same period.

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To manage hospital bed capacity effectively, public hospitals have been directed to scale back non-urgent elective surgeries and transfer suitable patients to alternative care facilities.

Minister Ong Ye Kung predicts that the current wave of infections will likely peak within the next two to four weeks, indicating a timeframe between mid- to end-June.

In light of the escalating situation, Ong has urged individuals at higher risk of contracting the virus, including those aged 60 and above, individuals with underlying health conditions, and residents of aged care facilities, to consider receiving an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if they haven’t been vaccinated within the past 12 months.

Regarding potential social restrictions, Ong clarified that there are no immediate plans for imposing such measures, as Singapore treats COVID-19 as an endemic disease.

He emphasized that resorting to additional measures would be a last resort, indicating the government’s preference for managing the situation within the framework of existing protocols.

Acknowledging Singapore’s status as a major transportation and communication hub, Ong conceded that the city-state is likely to experience waves of COVID-19 earlier than other locations.

As such, he stressed the importance of adapting to the reality that COVID-19 may become a recurring presence, with periodic waves anticipated on an annual basis.

In essence, the Singaporean government is bracing for the challenges posed by the evolving COVID-19 situation, urging vigilance, adherence to precautionary measures, and vaccination among the population to mitigate the impact of the current surge and future waves.