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17 May 2021  (518 Views) 
Covid-19 crisis

No need to be alarmed about the community spread
Each day, the Ministry of Health report 10 to 20 cases of community spread of the covid virus in Singapore. 

This has caused alarm with the general public. They are afraid that the virus will spread out of control.

Many people have clamored for the closing of the border to travelers from high risk countries. They complained that the government had acted rather late in closing the borders.

I am sanguine about this development. I think that the risk is quite low at this stage. 

Let me explain my view. 

I believe that most of the community cases are mild. The cases were detected to have the virus, but there was no breakdown between the mild cases (i.e. asymptomatic) and the serious cases (i.e. symptomatic). 

Most mild cases do not pass the virus to others. If they do, the virus is quite mild.

There are a few cases where the virus load is heavy. These are likely to be the symptomatic cases. 

It will be useful for the Ministry of Health to provide a breakdown on the severity of the infection.

The media provide a more detailed report on the few cases were symptomatic. The incidence of these cases is low and sporadic. 

I looked at the statistics provided in this website,

There are now 450 active cases. 243 are in community facilities (i.e. they do not require hospital treatment), 205 are in hospital (stable) and 2 in hospital (critical condition).

There is fear that if the virus was allowed to spread, the ICU wards would be full. 

At the current rate, the ICU wards are rather empty. The fear of being swamped is grossly exaggerated.

The 205 that are being treated in hospital appears to be much higher than I had expected. 

I suspect that most of these cases were patients who were already staying in hospital for other medical conditions and were infected in the hospital. 

A few cases might be those from outside who were admitted into hospital due to severe infections.

Looking at these figures, I conclude that the risk of serious spread of the virus is still quite low in Singapore.

In my opinion, it was an over reaction for the government to implement the restrictive measures, described as the Heightened Alert (AH) of the phase 2 of the circuit breaker.

By the same measure, the fear among the general public is overblown.

I might be wrong. The matter may get worse. But it may not. I will monitor the statistics closely over the next few days. In the meantime, I hold the opinion that there is no need for alarm.

It will be helpful if the Ministry of Health could provide more detailed analysis. They should report the number of cases classified as mild or severe.

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - Do you agree with my view that the restrictive measures are an over reaction at this stage?


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