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Singapore’s daily Covid cases breach 1,000 levels over the weekend


People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

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SINGAPORE — Singapore reported more than 1,000 Covid cases for two straight days over the weekend —the first time infections breached that level since April 2020, at the height of the pandemic.

According to the data provided by the ministry of health, 1,009 cases were confirmed in Singapore on Saturday and 1,012 on Sunday.

It’s the most recent number of cases since April 23, 2013. The majority of cases from Singapore at that point were discovered in hostels for migrants. Infections hit a record high of 1,426 on April 20, 2020.

Authorities have shied away from new restrictions in recent weeks, and ministers previously warned that Covid cases would surge past 1,000 as the country seeks to live with the virus. The approach stands in contrast to the government’s earlier strategy, where measures were tightened with cases in the low double digits.

A major wave of infections and an exponential rise in daily cases is “almost like a rite of passage,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Friday in a virtual press briefing.

He pointed out that more than 80% have been vaccinated in Singapore, which makes it different to other countries.

Ong stated that there is no question the country would have experienced many deaths and an overloaded health-care system had it not been for vaccinations.

He said, “We’ve avoided this so far because we have very high vaccination coverage.”

Now, the government will focus its attention on seriously ill people and deaths. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 60 deaths have occurred.

Over the past 28 days, 98.1% of infected people were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, according to the health ministry’s daily update.

Out of 7,144 active cases as of Sept. 19, 118 people require oxygen supplementation and 21 people are in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The health ministry previously said it can ramp up the ICU capacity to 1,000 beds if needed.

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.