Asia Pacific

Singapore extends COVID-19 curbs for a month as cases spike

1 minute read

The seating area at a food centre is cordoned off to restrict dining-in as part of the latest measures to curb the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

SINGAPORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Singapore will extend its social curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19 for around a month in order to ease the pressure on the healthcare system, the government said on Wednesday.

The city-state in late September reimposed curbs that include limiting social interactions and dining out to two people in order to slow virus transmission. However, daily cases have continued to rise and hit a record 3,994 on Tuesday.

While Singapore has vaccinated more than 80% of its 5.45 million population, asymptomatic or mild cases have been rising steadily, spreading the virus and mounting pressure on hospitals and medical staff.

"Nearly 90% of isolation beds in our hospital system have been filled. More than two thirds of our ICU beds are already occupied," said Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the government's virus taskforce, during a media briefing.

"It's not simply a matter of having extra beds or purchasing new equipment...our medical personnel are stretched and fatigued," he added.

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Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by John Geddie

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