SINGAPORE - The Omicron variant now accounts for 17 per cent of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Monday (Jan 3).
This means that an Omicron wave is imminent and the country needs to be prepared, he added.
In a New Year post on Facebook, the minister gave an update of the overall coronavirus situation.
The country is now stable, he wrote, with about 1,200 active cases over the past week compared with more than 26,000 at the peak of the last wave.
Deaths are low and about 20 people are currently in intensive care, compared with about 170 at the peak.
"All these signal that the recent Covid-19 wave due to the Delta variant has subsided, at least for now," Mr Ong wrote.
"But Omicron cases have started to creep up, making up around 17 per cent of local cases currently. This means an Omicron wave is imminent, and we need to be prepared for it."
Vaccination and booster shots remain key to Singapore's response to the pandemic, he added. At present, 87 per cent of people have received two doses of a vaccine, while 88 per cent have had at least one shot.
Singapore also ended the year with 41 per cent of the population having got their booster shots. About 70 per cent of the population is - or will be - eligible for boosters.
More than 20,000 children aged nine to 11 have also received their first dose of the vaccine, Mr Ong said.
New vaccines supplies are also expected to arrive this month.
"We will keep making progress, everyone needs to continue to do our part and exercise civic responsibility, and 2022 will be a better year than the last," he added.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.