Covid test kits in high demand in Singapore amid new surge of infections

By Phan Anh   May 21, 2024 | 06:00 am PT
Covid test kits in high demand in Singapore amid new surge of infections
A health worker holds a Covid-19 test kit in hand. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Covid-19 test kits are in high demand in Singapore amid a surge of infection, which saw cases rising over the past two weeks.

Irene Lau, the Singapore managing director of healthcare chain store Watsons, said demands for the kits have risen by over 150% in the past week, The Straits Times reported. A representative of the personal care chain Guardian, also known as Mannings, said Covid-19 related items like masks, test kits and drugs have also seen increased demand.

Singapore’s supermarket chain FairPrice also said it has seen a two-fold increase in demands for Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits and masks over the past week, Channel News Asia reported.

Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Minister of Health, on May 18 said the Southeast Asian country was seeing a new Covid-19 wave, which would peak in another 2-4 weeks, meaning some time in June.

Ong said public hospitals have been requested to reduce the number of non-urgent elective surgery cases, among other measures, to ensure the availability of hospital beds. Those vulnerable to the coronavirus, including elderly people, should receive additional Covid-19 vaccine shots if they have not been inoculated in the last 12 months, he added.

The Singaporean health ministry said an estimated 25,900 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country from May 5 to 11, while only 13,700 cases were recorded in the previous week. Despite the surge of cases, there are no current plans to impose social restriction measures at the moment as Covid-19 is now considered an endemic disease in Singapore, Ong said.

The predominant variants of the coronavirus circulating in Singapore are those belonging to KP.1 and KP.2 variants, accounting for two-thirds of all cases. However, whether these variants are more transmissible or more virulent than other Covid-19 variants have yet to be confirmed, local media reported.

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