Public Health

Singapore to extend Covid booster program to youth aged 12-17

Pupils wearing protective masks participate in extracurricular activities at school on January 6, 2022 in Singapore.

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Separately, Singapore reduced the isolation time for children under 12 and vaccinated people who tested positive for Covid from 10 days to 7 days.

The country’s National Center for Infectious Diseases found through its studies that the viral load in Omicron infections is lower than in Delta and has a shorter duration of infection.

Unvaccinated people aged 12 and over must continue to isolate themselves for 14 days.

Adjust border measures

Singapore also said it will continue to limit the number of people who can enter the country through its quarantine-free, vaccinated itinerary order. The sale of flight and bus tickets is limited to 50% of the quota.

However, those arriving from January 24 only need to take unsupervised, self-administered rapid Covid tests seven days after arrival if they intend to leave their place of residence. It is not necessary to transmit the results.

Currently, upon arrival in Singapore, travelers have four days to self-test and submit test results and two days to go to a test center for supervised testing.

Additionally, travelers who are fully vaccinated and have recently recovered from the virus will be exempted from all testing and quarantine requirements if they can provide proof.

“Because fully vaccinated individuals who have recently recovered from infection have high levels of immunity from their recent COVID-19 infection and vaccination, the likelihood of re-infection is low,” the health ministry said in a press release. Such travelers can also test positive without posing a risk of infection because they shed non-infectious virus fragments, the publication added.

Those who are not fully vaccinated but have recently recovered will not be required to take a pre-departure test but will be subject to other measures, the press release said.

Covid cases in Singapore have been rising in recent weeks, with the Health Ministry reporting a weekly infection growth rate of 2.17 on Thursday.

In the past 28 days, 99.3% of reported cases had mild or no symptoms. 1,472 infections were confirmed on Thursday.

The health ministry said 1,001 omicron cases were confirmed as of Thursday, of which 952 were local and 49 were imported.

The city-state has reported 297,549 Covid cases and 845 deaths since the pandemic began.

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