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SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,239 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths linked to the coronavirus as of noon on Tuesday (Nov 30).

The fatalities were aged between 47 and 87. All of them had various underlying medical conditions. The Ministry of Health (MOH) did not specify what these conditions were.

This brings Singapore’s death toll from the coronavirus to 718. 

The overall intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation rate on Tuesday is 58.5 per cent, up from 51.2 per cent on Monday.

WEEKLY INFECTION GROWTH RATE

The weekly infection growth rate dropped to 0.66 from Monday’s 0.69. This refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before.

The growth rate has remained below 1 for 18 consecutive days. A figure below 1 means that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases is falling.

The daily case count on Tuesday was up from the 1,103 infections reported on Monday.

Among the new cases, 1,217 were locally transmitted, comprising 1,193 infections in the community and 24 cases in migrant workers’ dormitories.

The remaining 22 were imported cases, MOH said in its daily update released to the media at about 11.30pm.

As of Tuesday, Singapore has reported 264,725 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

HOSPITALISATIONS AND VACCINATIONS

There were 1,113 COVID-19 cases currently warded in hospital. Of these, 216 needed oxygen supplementation in general wards, 13 were unstable and under close monitoring in the ICU, and 65 were critically ill and intubated in the ICU.

A total of 1,399 cases were discharged over the past day, of whom 276 were seniors aged 60 and above.

Of the 60,166 cases over the last 28 days, 98.7 per cent had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic, while 0.9 per cent required oxygen supplementation in the general ward, 0.2 per cent were in the ICU and 0.2 per cent died.

In its daily update, MOH said that it has completed a periodic update of Singapore’s population numbers.

“Our population has decreased slightly, as individuals who have passed on or returned to their home countries outnumbered newborns and inflows. We have therefore adjusted our vaccinated coverage accordingly,” MOH said. 

As of Monday, the total number of individuals who have completed their full regimen/ received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines is 96 per cent – adjusted from 94 per cent – of the eligible population. The eligible population refers to those aged 12 and above. 

Taking the total population into account, the fully vaccinated percentage is 86 per cent – adjusted from 85 per cent.

About 26 per cent have received their booster shots. 

Along with the adjustment of the population base, the number of unvaccinated seniors aged 60 years and above has also dropped from 57,769 to 43,611.

“This is because the estimated total number of persons in that age group has been reduced,” said MOH.

“After subtracting the number who has been fully vaccinated, the remainder is a significantly smaller number than the previous estimate,” the ministry said.

CLUSTERS

MOH said on Tuesday that it was closely monitoring two large clusters.

One new case was added to LC Nursing Home (Siglap) and ECON Healthcare Nursing Home (Chai Chee) each. This brings the total number of cases at LC Nursing Home and ECON Healthcare Nursing Home to 16 and 42 respectively. 

NO OMICRON CASES IN SINGAPORE SO FAR

Singapore has not detected any cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant locally so far, but with more countries reporting infections, it is a “matter of time” before cases emerge here, authorities said earlier on Tuesday. 

Therefore, the country is making several “pre-emptive moves” to buy time while it finds out more about the variant, said co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong.

Anyone suspected or confirmed of being infected with the Omicron variant will not be allowed to undergo home recovery. They will be taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases for isolation and management of the disease. 

Identified close contacts will also not be allowed to self-isolate at home, and will be placed on a 10-day quarantine at designated facilities. 

COVID-19 testing protocols for all arrivals will also be enhanced as part of tighter measures to deal with the Omicron variant, announced MOH. 

From Dec 2, airport and border frontline workers who may come into contact with travellers from regions affected by the Omicron COVID-19 variant will have to return to a weekly polymerase chain reaction rostered routine testing regime.