An ‘unusual surge’ drives Singapore’s daily COVID cases over 5,000 for the first time

October 28, 2021, 5:22 AM UTC

Singapore’s COVID-19 daily case count surged above 5,000 for the first time due to an unusual spike within a few hours, which health ministry officials are looking into. 

A total of 5,324 new cases were detected as of 12 p.m. Wednesday, with 4,651 in the community and 661 in the migrant-worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health said in its daily status report. There are 66 critically ill patients who are intubated in intensive-care units, and 76 unstable and under close monitoring. 

“The infection numbers are unusually high today, mostly due to many COVID-positive cases detected by the testing laboratories within a few hours in the afternoon,” the release said. “MOH is looking into this unusual surge in cases within a relatively short window, and closely monitoring the trends for the next few days.”

While Singapore is loosening border controls to allow in vaccinated visitors from more countries, it has extended strict curbs on the island to late November, including limiting social gatherings to two people. Officials have said these rules may only be relaxed when the situation at the hospitals stabilizes. 

The current overall ICU utilization rate is 79.8%—down several percentage points from earlier in the week, but still elevated from about two-thirds on Oct. 19. The health ministry said Tuesday that an additional 100 ICU beds will be ready next week. 

There were 10 deaths from virus-related complications on Wednesday. All except one person who was unvaccinated had underlying medical conditions.

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