Singapore issues new measures for managing Omicron variant cases hinh anh 1A passenger from Johor, Malaysia, via the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) leaves after getting negative test results for the antigen rapid test (ART) at Singapore's Queen Street bus terminal in November 2021. (Photo:Xinhua/VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s Ministry of Health on December 26 announced new COVID-19 control measures, saying it adjusted its approach to managing Omicron cases.

International evidence indicates that the Omicron variant is likely to be more transmissible but less severe than the Delta variant, and that vaccines, especially boosters, retain substantial protection against hospitalisations caused by Omicron, the ministry said in the latest statement.

Accordingly, Singapore allows Omicron cases to follow medical rules applicable for other COVID-19 cases from December 27. Omicron cases will be placed on the Home Recovery Programme or managed at community care facilities depending on their clinical presentation, instead of being isolated in dedicated facilities by default.

Unwell cases would follow a time-based discharge of 10 days (for vaccinated persons or children less than 12 years old) or 14 days (unvaccinated persons). Close contacts of Omicron cases will be issued a 7-day Health Risk Warning and be required to self-test with ART daily before leaving their homes.

Contact tracing efforts would shift back towards self-reporting by family members and leveraging digital tools such as TraceTogether, and tight ringfencing of vulnerable settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, elderly homes and preschools.

The same day, Singapore started inoculating students of fourth to sixth grades with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at seven paediatric vaccination centres. More other centres will begin operation in early January next year.

Some 40 percent of the students of the age band have been registered by their parents to receive the doses. COVID-19 vaccination registration for the first to third graders will begin on January 5./.