S'pore's healthcare system held up despite considerable stress from Omicron: PM Lee
Singapore's healthcare system held up despite being under considerable stress at the peak of the Omicron wave, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a national address on Thursday (March 24).
"The load is still heavy, but the pressure is easing," added Mr Lee, as he thanked healthcare workers for their "tremendous sacrifices, at a heavy personal cost".
At a press conference by the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, held after PM Lee's address, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung noted that the easing of the Omicron wave has led to fewer absent healthcare workers and Covid-19 patients needing hospitalisation, though hospitals remain very busy managing non-Covid-19 patients.
He said the Covid-19-related absentee rate among healthcare workers has declined from 2.7 per cent in early March to about 2 per cent now.
Covid-19 cases in intensive care units "remain very manageable, below 30 cases as of last night", he added.
"The strain, however, is mostly felt at the emergency departments, with many patients seeking hospital care on a daily basis," said Mr Ong, noting that the number is decreasing very gradually, with the vast majority being non-Covid-19 patients.
Most of them have chronic illnesses that may not have been closely monitored during the pandemic as healthcare workers focused on fighting Covid-19, he added.