As they say, keep calm and mask up.
The public, particularly those with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection and high-risk groups, should continue wearing masks even at places where it is not compulsory to do so, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
“So far, this (the XBB strain) has yet to be a variant of concern,” he told The Star.
News reports from Singapore showed that the number of Covid-19 cases are rising in the republic due to the new Omicron strain and reinfections.
On Saturday, Singapore Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the country did not rule out the possibility of reintroducing Covid-19 rules such as the wearing of masks, though it would try its “very best” not to disrupt the lives of people.
Singapore recorded a 68% increase in Covid-19 cases last week, with almost 50,000 cases, compared to 29,301 cases in the preceding seven days.
When contacted yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry would continue to respond to the new Covid-19 subvariant accordingly.
The ministry, he said, would be watching and monitoring the situation with regard to the Omicron subvariant, XBB Covid-19 strain very closely.
He said there would be a balance in their actions and public health measures.
“We know that the virus will continue to mutate from time to time.
“But the question is whether it is going to be more transmissible and more virulent with increased hospitalisation and ICU utilisation,” he said.
Malaysia recorded 2,023 Covid-19 infections on Saturday with no deaths.
There are now 23,881 active cases in the country.
The XBB subvariant, which was first detected in August in India, has been found in at least 17 countries so far, such as Bangladesh, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Denmark and the United States. – Asia News