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14 Aug 2021

13th Aug 2021

    The local epidemic situation continues to be stable, and we have made further progress in vaccinating our population. 

Local Situation Update

2.   There has been a steady decline in cases in the last two weeks since the measures in Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) were introduced on 22 July 2021. As at 12 August 2021, the number of new local cases has decreased from an average of 108 cases per day in the week before to 69 cases per day in the past week. Between the week of 30 July 2021, and 6 August 2021, the percentage of cases that was isolated before detection has gone up from 54% to 58%, while the percentage of unlinked cases has dropped from 30% to 25%.

3.  There continues to be evidence to show that vaccination helps prevent severe illness and death. Amongst all infected individuals over the last 28 days, 2.4% of those unvaccinated needed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care or died, compared to 0.2% amongst those who were fully vaccinated. 6.9% of unvaccinated individuals who were infected needed oxygen supplementation, compared to 0.7% of those fully vaccinated.

Expanding the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” Regime

4.   As announced by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 6 August 2021, unvaccinated individuals from the following settings must be tested twice a week using Antigen Rapid Tests (ART), under the “Vaccinate or Regular Test” (“VoRT”) regime, starting from 1 October 2021, to enable us to detect possible infections early and is key to keeping our community safe:

a)  The healthcare sector, eldercare sector and settings with children 12 years and below, as these interact with vulnerable segments of the population;

b)  Sectors where there are interactions with customers in higher-risk mask-off settings, and our borders and COVID-19 frontline work. These sectors include F&B establishments, gyms and fitness studios, and personal care services; and

c)  The Public Service, including the uniformed services.

5.   We have decided to extend the VoRT regime to also include retail mall workers, workers in supermarket outlets, taxi and private hire car drivers, last mile delivery personnel, driving school instructors/private driving instructors, and public transport frontline staff as they also interact more frequently with the general public. Please refer to Annex A for the full list of sectors on the VoRT regime. More details will be released to the sectors by the respective agencies.


6.   We strongly encourage all employers to facilitate vaccination for your employees. A fully vaccinated workforce ensures a safe workplace and safe environment for everyone.

Update on Community Vaccination Efforts

7.    To date, we have deployed 10 mobile vaccination teams to around 90 heartland locations with higher concentrations of seniors, and 11 home vaccination teams for homebound individuals located island-wide. Through these efforts, we have vaccinated 6,600 seniors in total. General Practitioners and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners are also helping to educate their unvaccinated elderly patients on the importance of getting vaccinated.

Increasing the Accessibility of Vaccination

8.    Through various efforts, more seniors are now vaccinated. As of 12 August 2021, 84% of those aged 60 and above have completed their full regimen and 89% have received at least one dose. However, more than 115,000 seniors aged 60 and over remain unvaccinated, and we will continue to reach out to them. We strongly encourage these seniors to get vaccinated.

9.    To make it easier for individuals to receive vaccinations, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will make vaccination available at more Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs). We will expand the number of PHPCs providing COVID-19 vaccination as part of the national vaccination programme from 44 PHPCs today to more than 60 PHPCs by end of August. Our PHPCs will allow for better accessibility and convenience for our seniors, and all primary care providers have been called on to help persuade seniors who are their regular patients to go for their COVID-19 vaccination if they are eligible but have not done so yet. The list of participating PHPCs can be found on www.vaccine.gov.sg.

10.  From 10 August 2021, all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Long-Term Pass holders aged 12 years old and above will be able to walk in to any of the vaccination sites offering the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment. As part of our continued efforts to make it more convenient for vaccinations, from 18 August 2021, all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Long-Term Pass holders, aged 12 years old and above, who have yet to receive their first dose will also be able to walk in to any polyclinic or participating PHPC without a prior appointment.

Opening Vaccination to Selected Short-Term Pass Holders

11.    With a good majority of Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Long Term Pass holders vaccinated, we will be opening up the vaccination programme to groups of Short-Term Pass Holders (STPHs) who are in Singapore for long periods of time. Most eligible persons will be notified directly by MOH via SMS progressively, starting from 18 August 2021. More details will be shared shortly.

Assisting our Neighbouring Countries

12.    As we have made good progress in our vaccination programme and have set aside sufficient vaccine supplies for our immediate needs, Singapore will be able to assist our neighboring countries in their vaccination efforts, through donation and swapping of vaccines. This will help to boost the overall resiliency of our region against COVID-19.

Towards a COVID-19 Resilient Nation

13.    We thank the huge majority of the population who have been vaccinated for playing their part in keeping Singapore safe. We urge those who have yet to take up vaccination – in particular our seniors, who are most at risk of developing serious illness – to do so in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. As more of our population gets vaccinated and the local situation remains under control, we can stay on track to further re-opening and progress towards COVID resilience.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
13 AUGUST 2021