Group size for CNY remains at 5 people, Omicron surge likely to continue into February, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Group size for CNY remains at 5 people, Omicron surge likely to continue into February

There will be no changes to current safe management measures (SMMs) for the upcoming Chinese New Year to help protect Singapore's healthcare system.

This comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases here from the Omicron variant, said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong on Friday (Jan 21).

"I know that many of us are hoping for relaxation in SMMs as we approach the Chinese New Year. However, it is important that we continue with our existing SMMs to help prevent overloading our healthcare system, even as we experience a surge in cases from Omicron variant," he said.

He was speaking at a press conference held by the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 which he co-chairs.

The weekly Covid-19 infection growth rate rose to 2.17 on Thursday, which signifies that the number of new weekly Covid-19 cases is increasing.

There were 1,001 new cases with the Omicron variant on Thursday, of which 952 were local cases and 49 were imported.

The first day of Chinese New Year falls on Feb 1, less than two weeks from now.

Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, who is the director of medical services, said Singapore is currently in the midst of an Omicron wave and expects the number of Covid-19 cases to continue to rise.

He said: "This is likely to continue into early Feb 2022 when the Lunar New Year period is upon us."

Currently, only up to groups of five are permitted for social gatherings, and each household is allowed up to five visitors per day.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who is also a co-chair of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said those who are planning to visit family members who are seniors during Chinese New Year can consider taking an antigen rapid test beforehand.

Those who are not feeling well should also stay at home instead of going out for visitations, he added.

He said: "So if we all continue to exercise personal and social responsibility, and we continue to do our part, we will be able to ride through this Omicron wave safely. And then we can look forward to our next round of measures towards our continued journey of becoming a Covid-19 resilient nation."

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